The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 4, 2011

Man killed by FBI wanted in Fla. mosque bombing

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

FAIRVIEW — A man killed in a shoot-out with FBI agents and other law enforcement officers Wednesday afternoon was wanted in connection with the 2010 bombing of a Florida mosque, according to the FBI.

Sandlin Matthews Smith, 46, of Gainesville, Fla., was shot and killed during a confrontation with agents who were serving a warrant for his arrest at Gloss Mountain State Park.

Jacksonville FBI Special Agent Jeff Westcott said the warrant for Smith was issued Monday by a Jacksonville federal court.

He was wanted in connection with the May 10, 2010, bombing of the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville. The attack occurred at night prior to evening prayers. No one was injured in that explosion.

The warrant lists Smith’s charges as damaging a religious property, obstruction of persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs, possession and transfer of a destructive device, possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Westcott said FBI agents tracked Smith to Oklahoma over the next two days but were unsure why he chose to flee to the state.

Smith’s location was pinpointed Tuesday night in Gloss Mountain State Park. Oklahoma City FBI agents and members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol were on scene and set up a perimeter around the area, Westcott said. The officers and agents began to “verify they had the right person.”

“We knew he was driving a particular truck,” Westcott said.

About 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, agents and law enforcement officers approached Smith and called for his surrender.

“He confronted the agents and officers with a weapon and he was shot and killed,” Westcott said.

Information about the shooting is not being released, Westcott said. The incident will be investigated by Department of Justice officials because FBI agents were involved. No agents were harmed during the shoot-out.