Denver Muslim on Murder Charges Says He Acted ‘Solely For Pleasure of Allah,’ CBS Says Motive ‘Still Unclear’

CBS4, Denver

A Muslim convert from Texas facing murder charges for killing a security guard in Colorado said he acted “solely for the pleasure of Allah,” but CBS4 in Denver told its viewers that the alleged killer’s motive “is still unclear.”

Joshua Cummings, 37, has been charged with the Jan. 30 murder of Scott Von Lanken, a security guard for Denver’s Regional Transportation District. Police who rushed to the scene of the murder discovered Von Lauken shot through the head, and soon after found Cummings hiding on the terrace of an apartment building. He was armed with a handgun that matched the caliber of the shooting, according to investigators.

While refusing to admit he murdered the victim, Cummings did describe his motive. “On the night in question, what I did do, I didn’t do that for the Islamic State. I did that purely and solely for the pleasure of Allah,” Cummings told CBS4.

“I give my bay’ah [loyalty oath] to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and I am committed to being a soldier for the Islamic State,” Cummings told CBS4.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the leader of the militant Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Despite Cummings’ statements from jail, his admitted Islamic conversion and his sworn loyalty to the Islamic State, CBS4 refused to credit his motives. “What happened was a cold-blooded murder — a shot to the head — but the reason behind it is still unclear,” Denver’s Rick Sallinger exclaimed.

After the murder, the Department of Homeland Security reported that Cummings had told them he was a Muslim convert looking to establish “the rule of Islam” in the United States. DHS also noted that Muslim leaders in Texas said Cummings had criticized them last December for being “too soft” on enforcing Islam’s far-reaching sharia law.

Cummings also said his reading of the Koran erased his allegiance to the United States and caused him to pledge to the Islamic State.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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