In Colorado, the investigation of the murder of prison warden Tom Clement is considering a possible terrorist angle. The “primary working theory” is that Clement’s recent denial of Homaidan al-Turki’s (pictured) request to be transferred to a Saudi prison may be behind the murder.
Al-Turki comes from a well connected Saudi family which has been lobbying for his release since he was sentenced to 28 years of hard time in 2006 for the bondage and sexual abuse of an Indonesian woman working as a housekeeper in his Aurora, Colorado, home. Al-Turki moved with his family to the US in 1995, so it wasn’t like he didn’t understand that American law prohibits slavery. In 2011, his sentence was reduced to eight years.
Crime investigators are justified in pursuing a terrorist connection. Al-Turki has a business selling CDs with jihadist recordings of Anwar al-Awlaki, the influential Yemeni cleric who was fatally droned in 2011. So al-Turki wasn’t a gentle post-graduate student of linguistics, as portrayed by his supporters.
Sources: Clements murder investigation will look at Saudi prisoner connection, Fox31 Denver, March 20, 2013
DENVER — Investigators looking into the shooting death of the director of the Colorado Department of Corrections will look at the possibility that Tom Clements’ murder may be tied to the recent decision not to grant a transfer of a Saudi man in a Colorado prison.
Homaidan Al-Turki was convicted in 2006 of unlawful sexual contact by use of force and other charges. Prosecutors said he sexually assaulted a housekeeper and kept her as a virtual slave for four years.
His conviction angered Saudi officials. The U.S. State Department sent Colorado Attorney General John Suthers to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah, Crown Prince Sultan and Al-Turki’s family.
Last week, Colorado prison officials denied a request from the Saudi Arabian government to release Al-Turki to his home country to serve his life sentence.
Prosecutors opposed Al-Turki’s transfer fearing he would be released upon return to Saudi Arabia.
Celments was the one who decided to deny the transfer. He wrote in a letter to Al-Turki that because Al-Turki refused to undergo sex offender treatment in prison, “I have decided not to support your request for transfer to Saudi Arabia at this time,” reported the Associated Press.
Sources have told FOX31 Denver, Al-Turki has come from an influential Saudi family that has long pressured Colorado to release him.
A source familiar with the investigation who refused to be identified by name because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case, said the Al-Turki connection right now is the main working theory behind Clements death.
The source also said other people involved in the Al-Turki case have been contacted by law enforcement and are now getting extra protection.
The U.S. Attorney for Colorado John Walsh received extra security at his house Tuesday night and was escorted to work Wednesday under armed guard, a high-placed law enforcement source told FOX31 Denver reporter Justin Joseph.
Investigators have admitted they don’t have much to go on at this point and will look at all possibilities.
Clement’s wife was home when he was shot, but told police she did not see anything.
Authorities are looking for a boxy-style, dark-colored, 2-door, 90s-model vehicle running unoccupied and parked at an intersection near the scene of the shooting.
Gov. John Hickenlooper ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff at all public buildings statewide. Flags will remain at half-staff until the day after Clements funeral.