NCAA BK

Ex-UTEP basketballer now a jihadist

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Tully Corcoran

Tully Corcoran spent seven years covering the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas Jayhawks for The Topeka Capital-Journal. His work has been honored multiple times by The Kansas Press Association. He most recently wrote for FOX Sports Houston and FOX Sports Southwest. Follow him on Twitter.

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Chris Craig is a former UTEP basketball player who describes himself as an “Islamic jihadist” but quotes the Bible when he threatens to “torch and consume” the state of Texas.

This is him (from the El Paso Times):

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So this is a complicated story that got even more complicated when Craig began writing a series of vague and threatening Facebook posts as he traveled from Egypt to Amsterdam. From The El Paso Times:

Craig, who has been sought by law enforcement since proclaiming himself an "Islamic jihadist" last month and allegedly making threats against Catholic and Mormon churches in Colorado and Arizona, has written a series of rambling, confusing blog posts saying he went to Egypt in recent days.

"Dear Texas -- We are on our way back from Egypt, and as Psalm 72 states, We have taken over The Earth. Texas, you better stand the (expletive) up for The Truth, or I will utterly torch and consume you, first with Truth, then with literal," Craig, 32, wrote in a rambling post on his blog, dated Tuesday.

He then uses some sports terminology and threatening language to address “Gabriel,” though it’s unclear if he’s referring to the Biblical angel or perhaps another basketball player. There is also something in there that seems to be related to marijuana, specifically the legalization and medical marijuana laws. Craig says “His Herb” is “not a party drug” and “not a ‘medicine.”

When people start talking like that, the U.S. government is wont to start keeping an eye on them. According to The Times, officials won’t confirm or deny that they’re tracking Craig, nor will they say whether they know he’s been to Egypt or not.

"The U.S. Department of State does not comment on a private U.S. citizen's travel," a department spokesman said in an email to the El Paso Times.

After his playing career ended, Craig coached basketball teams in Ireland, Switzerland and Mexico. In 2011, he was hired at Midland (Texas) College to be the head coach. He abruptly quit that job in March and began posting conspiracy theories on the Internet. That same month he was arrested in Israel, according to the Sun Advocate newspaper, which also reported his family had been interviewed by the FBI and Secret Service regarding some comments he made about President Obama.

And it’s been a long, strange trip since then, raising Bibles in the air and shouting obscenities (Fort Collins Coloradoan), an arrest in Arizona, a traffic stop in which he was driving around with a T-shirt around his head filming himself, and then an incident in Steamboat Springs, Colo., in which he told local authorities he was an Islamic jihadist whose name would soon be famous. He wasn’t arrested, but Fort Collins police nonetheless sent out a memo advising local religious organizations to be on the lookout.

Saturday, he wrote that his attempt to travel to Israel was stopped.

Tagged: Texas, Colorado

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