Arizona woman, Michelle Bastian, charged after ‘helping her radicalized husband plot to kill his prison warden and sending him articles from al Qaeda and ISIS magazines’
49-year-old Arizona bookkeeper, Michelle Bastian, charged after ‘helping radicalized husband plot to kill prison warden, sent him articles from al Qaeda and ISIS magazines’
Cops say Thomas Bastian, 39, ‘was planning to create an explosive device in to kill people, including the prison warden,’ with the help of his wife
Michelle allegedly sent husband, Thomas, serving life for first-degree murder, articles from al Qaeda and ISIS publications
Michelle allegedly, was going to give her husband everything he requireded to execute his plan of bombing the prison when she visited him
Michelle Bastian is charged with suspicion of terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and conspiracy to promote prison contraband
Secured appearance bond set at $100,000
Michelle Bastian was arrested by Feds, Wednesday on terrorism related charges
Authorities say Thomas Bastian (right), with a plot to murder a prison wardens. He converted to Islam and became radicalized in prison back in May
Thomas was trying to transfer back into the general population in the prison so he could have access to to the area where inmates meet their visitors.
The source said Michelle was going to give her husband everything he needed to carry out his plan of bombing the prison when she visited him.
The Arizona Department of Corrections where Thomas Bastian is serving a life sentence.
Authorities were told Thomas ‘was planning to create an explosive device in order to kill people, including the prison warden.’
Thomas Bastian, who is serving a life sentence in prison for first-degree murder
That same source said Michelle was helping Thomas, who has been imprisoned in a maximum security unit within ASPC-Lewis since March 31, 2009. Bastian, now 39, is serving a life sentence for a murder conviction in a 2007 shooting death that police said was a conspiracy to cash in on a $500,000 insurance policy. He was accused of being a member of the conspiracy, but police say another man fired the fatal shots.
Authorities corroborated the source’s information about Thomas’ plan when they searched his prison cell and found a publication called ‘Inspire,’ distributed by al Qaeda and another publication distributed by ISIS called ‘Dabiq.’
Prison officials say the offending mail made it through prison security because it was labeled as ‘legal mail.’
The the arresting officer noted that ‘The objective of these publications is to provide detailed instruction on how to commit acts of terrorism and to praise those that have successfully carried out attacks.’ he added,
‘Located within a stack of detailed handwritten notes on how to construct an explosive device were several pages from an issue of Inspire that contained information on how to construct a bomb out of materials found in ‘your mother’s kitchen.’
The source said Michelle was going to give her husband everything he needed to carry out his plan of bombing the prison when she visited him
A search conducted by the FBI of Michelle’s home found letters that Thomas sent her requesting ‘radicalized materials’.
Authorities also found a handwritten note with coded terminology that he suggested she use.
In recorded conversations between the couple
‘ Michelle states she sent the ‘articles’ to Thomas. It is believed that Michelle is reference terrorism related (sic) publicans,’ according to court paperwork.
‘She also mentions that she knows that Thomas is a supports of ISIS.’
The couple have been married for less than three years. How they met is not clear, since Thomas has been in prison for five years by that time.
They filed for their marriage license in March 2014 and then were married in May.
She captioned one photo she shared of Thomas to her Facebook page by calling him her ‘Papa Smurf.’
Inmate Thomas Orville Bastian was investigated in 2009 by Scottsdale PD for ‘threatening the lives of the law enforcement personnel who assisted in his murder conviction and threatened the use of explosives.’
Investigators say Thomas converted to Islam after entering prison and later became radicalized.
In addition, Michelle Bastian herself also served time in prison from September 2006 to October 2009 for theft. While in prison, she was ‘disciplined’ twice for ‘smuggling contraband.’
She appeared in court on Thursday for the charges including suspicion of terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and conspiracy to promote prison contraband.
A judge set a secured appearance bond of $100,000.
She is due back in court for a status conference on October 19 and then a preliminary hearing on October 21.
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