A Chattanooga man under investigation for allegedly shooting a Quran and leaving it outside a local mosque was arrested in 1998 for throwing homemade bombs at a church, records show.
A source close to the investigation identified Jason Thomas Mullican as the man using the name mully88 on a MySpace .com Internet site. On the site, a video showed mully88 and another man shooting a Quran with a military rifle and then leaving the Muslim holy book in front of the Chattanooga Islamic Center.
Mr. Mullican, 33, was accused in Hamilton County General Sessions Court in 1998 of throwing plastic soda bottles filled with chemicals at First Calvary Baptist Church on Bell Avenue, records show. Mr. Mullican and two others were charged with reckless endangerment and disrupting a public assembly, according to court records.
Prosecutors at the time conceded that the incident was a prank and not meant to hurt anyone. The charges for all three defendants were dismissed after 90 days of good behavior, records show.
Tim Burke, FBI supervisor for the Chattanooga office, declined to comment on the identity of the men in the video but said they have been questioned and are cooperating with authorities.
"The investigation is ongoing," he said. "We are providing evidence in the case to the Justice Department so they can make a decision about whether there has been a violation of federal law."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Sullivan declined to say whether a suspect will be charged. No timetable exists on when a decision will be made, he said.
Authorities began investigating the incident last week after the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Justice Department officials to look into the shooting.