TIA GOLDENBERG, Associated Press
JERUSALEM (AP) — An Illinois man charged in Israel with plotting to blow up Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem calls the allegations “nonsense,” his lawyer said Wednesday.
Israeli authorities indicted Everett Adam Livvix, 30, who they said once posed as an ex-U.S. Navy SEAL, on weapons charges stemming from the alleged plot. Israeli police said Livvix also turned down an offer from a Palestinian to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama during a visit to the Holy Land in 2013.
Livvix went by Adam in Israel and back home in Robinson, Illinois, where he had an arrest record for alleged offenses including marijuana possession and theft. He faced charges in Crawford County, Illinois, for stealing a farm brush mower but failed to show up in court in March 2013, Sheriff Bill Rutan said.
Livvix’s lawyer in Israel, Gal Wolf, said his client was held for eight days without access to a lawyer following his arrest last month, although U.S. Embassy officials did see him. Wolf said Livvix underwent “extended interrogations” by Israeli security services and that he is being kept separate from other prisoners.
“He categorically denies the charges in the indictment,” Wolf said. “He says it is nonsense.”
Wolf said he last saw Livvix on Monday and described his mood as “down.” He said that Livvix may have psychological issues that need assessing and could come into play during his trial. Israel’s Justice Ministry said Livvix underwent a psychiatric evaluation Tuesday, but Wolf said results had not yet been released.
Wolf said Livvix was living with a fiancee when he was arrested. He did not identify the woman but said she was also an American citizen. He did not know if they arrived to Israel together or met here.
Israel indicted Livvix on Monday on charges of illegal weapon possession and overstaying his visa by more than a year. Operating in cooperation with Israel’s Shin Bet security service, police went to arrest Livvix last month at his seventh-floor apartment, the ministry said, but he initially tried to escape by leaping down to a patio on the floor below.
Livvix, who said he was a former Navy SEAL, was asked by an unnamed Palestinian to assassinate Obama with a sniper rifle during the president’s March 2013 visit to the region, Israeli police said. Livvix declined, but the FBI ended up involved in the case investigating his actions, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Later that year, Livvix entered Israel, the Justice Ministry said, and told Israeli friends he had strong anti-Arab sentiments. The ministry said Livvix later cooperated with his roommate, a serving soldier in the Israeli military, to obtain 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds) of explosive material to blow up the unidentified Jerusalem holy sites. The ministry said police discovered the plot in October.
An Israeli court is expected to decide Dec. 21 whether to detain Livvix until court proceedings are over.
Indiana-based bounty hunter Willie Bryant told The Associated Press he had been tracking Livvix through various cities in Israel, but was unable to arrest him on a failure-to-appear charge out of Indiana as he had no authority abroad.
Associated Press writers Jon Gambrell in Cairo and Tammy Webber in Chicago contributed to this report.
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