The lead story of today’s local paper was titled Terror suspect linked to Visalia. When you read the article, it talks about a guy in Sprinfield, Illinois who was plotting to blow up a building. What is the link to my hometown in California? His alleged MySpace profile in which he indicated a hometown of Visalia, CA according to the State Journal-Register of Illinois.
There is, however another city of Visalia in the country–one that is much closer to Illinois–in Kentucky. Since the MySpace profile has been removed, I can’t verify what it actually said for the hometown. It’s not clear from the reports if it could have just said “Visalia” or if it explicitly listed the state. The same MySpace profile said the guy attended high school in Michigan. The three states, Illinois, Michigan, and Kentucky are in close proximity to each other–much closer to Kentucky than California from Illinois or Michigan. I’m not saying the reporting is necessarily wrong, but it is a big jump to report that there is definitely a link to our city rather than another when there is no other evidence–school records or family members with the same last name–living in this city. I think somebody might have jumped the gun when searching for Visalia and finding the California city rather than the one in Kentucky.