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'Iraq made him!' - War, mother's death created Jamaican 'bomber'
published: Thursday | April 3, 2008

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer

This is a handout image from the Seminole County, Florida Sheriff's Office, of Kevin Brown, who was arrested Tuesday, April 1, at the Orlando International Airport carrying materials in his luggage that could have been used for an explosive device, the FBI said. A search of his luggage revealed two galvanised pipes, end caps, two small containers carrying BBs, batteries, two containers with an unknown liquid, and bomb-making literature, according to an FBI statement. Brown, a Jamaican national, planned to board a flight to Jamaica. - Ap


His mother's unsolved murder and the explosive conditions in Iraq are being cited among the factors that contributed to the transformation of Kevin Brown, the Jamaican green card holder who was held at the Orlando International Airport on Tuesday with bomb-making materials.

"Since his return from Iraq he hasn't been the same," said Karen Holt, Brown's mother-in-law. "He sees things, he hears things and he just doesn't act normal. In fact, he is extremely distant."

In addition to two alleged traumatic army missions in Iraq, Brown's mother, hotelier Sandra McLeod, was found dead in a computer room at the Merrill's III Beach Resort in Negril, Westmoreland, in June 2005. She reportedly went there for a business meeting with the operator of the resort.A subsequent post-mortem confirmed that she died of strangulation. The matter is still before the courts.

For several years, McLeod ran the then popular small property, Sandy Sand Hotel, located on the seven-mile Negril beach and owned the land adjacent to the resort.

The Gleaner understands that McLeod had an ongoing dispute concerning properties she owned in Negril and had a case in court in relation to the matter.

Sandra McLeod

At the time of his mother's killing, Brown was in Iraq and, on his return to the island for the funeral, friends said he was devastated. He reportedly fainted and had to seek medical attention.

Both Iraq and the murder seem to have traumatised the 33-year-old father, who has reportedly been receiving psychiatric treatment from a doctor in the United States.

Police Commissioner Hardley Lewin told The Gleaner yesterday the police were gathering background information on the accused.

According to Karl Angell, head of communications at the JCF, a preliminary report has been sent to the prime minister.

"An interim report has been sent by the commissioner of police to the prime minister, through the minister of national security," he said.

Yesterday, documents released by the FBI indicated that he told them he wanted to show friends at home how to build explosives like he saw in Iraq.

Who is

Kevin Brown?


  • Knox Preparatory, Spaldings, Clarendon

  • Priory High, St Andrew

  • Broward Community College, Florida.

  • Lived in Negril, Westmoreland, as a child, and Unity Hall in Montego Bay.

  • During his high school years, he lived with caregiver and executor of his mother's estate - Lucille Rodney.

  • He has lived in Ft Lauderdale, Orlando and Chicago, and was posted in Germany before his mission to Iraq.

  • Brown was on his way to Jamaica to visit his cousin Alecia in Montego Bay, when he was arrested at the Orlando International Airport.

  • His family and friends were subjected to questioning by the police all day Wednesday.
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