Neighbors tell of strange behavior by suspect in mosque threat

Bond set at $2,000 for Christopher Bane, 42

SAN ANTONIO - Christopher Bane, 42, is accused by his neighbors of exhibiting strange behavior long before he allegedly threatened to shoot up a mosque in the medical center area.

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Bane was arrested Tuesday on a charge of making a terroristic threat.

An arrest warrant affidavit stated that the intended target was the Islamic Academy of San Antonio.

However, leaders at the religious center said the mosque is actually part of the Islamic Center of San Antonio, which sits on the same property.

The affidavit stated that a witness came forward Nov. 6, saying that Bane told him he planned to “shoot as many people as possible” at the mosque, then kill himself.

It stated that he also said he had a .45 caliber gun and ammunition.

"Any talk like this is not just talk, so we really take it seriously,” said Solomon Hamide, president of the Islamic Center. "We have beefed up security, for one thing. All night, we have somebody that is guarding the area here."

Before anything could happen, though, police arrested Bane, who they said lived in a two-story home on Fair Avenue. Some neighbors said they had been keeping their distance from him long before the alleged threat.

Calvin Floyd said Bane once knocked on his door, asking for a cigarette and spare change to make a phone call.

“It seemed like he was on something,” Floyd said. "I don't think he would've actually done it, but at the same time, you can never put anything past a person."

Another man, who wanted to be identified only as “Dave,” said he recalls having several disturbing conversations with Bane.

"(Bane) would say, 'I'm going to get even with this one or get even with that.' I thought he was joking. But he was dead serious," he said.

The unidentified neighbor said Bane seemed to have issues with immigrants, that he once blasted them after hearing that the neighbor had lost his job.

“(Bane) said, ‘It’s probably because of those people.’ I didn't answer him. I just kept listening. And he said, 'They should be taken care of. They shouldn't be allowed in here," the man said.

No one, however, seemed to know why Bane would want to take aim at a mosque.

Hamide said although his center was the apparent target of the threats, word had spread throughout the local Islamic community and people were concerned.

He said even though Bane is in custody now, members of his center are not ready to let their guards down yet.


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