A 45-year-old Arlington woman, who has had past run-ins with counterterrorism agents, has pleaded guilty to federal charges after police found three pipe bombs in a pickup she was driving.
Kimberly Al-Homsi and Yasinul Ansari, her 18-year-old accomplice, both entered pleas before U.S. District Judge John McBryde in Fort Worth. They admitted to one count each of possession of an unregistered firearm, in this case homemade pipe bombs found in the truck in February.
They could each receive up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine when sentenced Sept. 24.
Plea papers filed after a Friday court hearing offer no clues as to why Al-Homsi and Ansari, one of her son’s friends, spent early February buying pipes and gunpowder at Arlington hardware and sporting goods stores and assembling bombs in her apartment bedroom.
The afternoon of Feb. 13, a motorist called 911 to report that someone in a pickup had pointed a weapon at him on West Abram Street in Arlington.
Police found the truck and tried to pull it over, but the driver did not stop. The pursuit ended in Fort Worth after the truck carrying the pair hit ice at Rosedale Street near Loop 820.
Police found a toy gun inside, in addition to three pipe bombs in a bag.
Al-Homsi told federal agents that she and Ansari made the bombs in the bedroom of the North Arlington apartment using synthetic black powder, road flare material and match heads.
When authorities searched the apartment at Hunters Point apartments on Ruger Drive in Arlington, they found week-old receipts from Pep Boys auto parts store and Academy Sports and Outdoors.
Al-Homsi’s history of provocative behavior has attracted the attention of not only local media, but also police and federal counterterrorism agents.
She first made headlines days before Christmas in 2005 when she waved a fake grenade at a motorist on Central Expressway in Dallas. She was charged with a bomb hoax and received probation.
On Feb. 25, 2007, Al-Homsi and a friend, Aisha Abdul-Rahman Hamad, were spotted at Dallas Love Field walking back and forth, apparently pacing off distances. When confronted, the women told officials they were looking for the Frontiers of Flight museum.
Two days later, they were at the airport again. Al-Homsi was sitting on the hood of a car looking through binoculars at airplanes. The women refused to let police search their car, authorities say.
On July 4, 2007, the pair was questioned after reportedly driving near the runways at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
About two weeks later, Al-Homsi called 911 to report that Hamad was threatening her with a knife. After a six-hour standoff, Arlington police arrested Hamad but also jailed Al-Homsi for possession of a homemade gun, black powder, shotgun shells and putty.
In interviews with reporters, Al-Homsi has claimed to have dual American and Syrian citizenship, as well as overseas weapons training. She also claimed to have known Wadih el Hage, the former Arlington tire dealer convicted of being a personal aide to Osama bin Laden.
Authorities say she has no terrorist ties.
Friends say she was born in the U.S., and had a father in the military. She is believed to have converted to Islam in college in Arizona, and eventually moved to Arlington. Her husband’s family is from Syria, which she has visited, friends say, they insist that she is not a danger.