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A racist 'assassin' faces terror charges after allegedly stabbing a black man to death

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A white man allegedly stabbed and killed a black homeless man in New York City with a sword now faces rare terrorism charges.

Baltimore native James Harris Jackson, 28, said he intended the March 20 stabbing of Timothy Caughman, 66, as a "practice run" to deter interracial relationships. 

He said he imagined a white woman thinking, "Well, if that guy feels so strongly about it, maybe I shouldn't do it." 

It's like every other commercial in the past few years has a mixed-race couple in it.
James Harris Jackson

Jackson was already facing the charge of murder as a hate crime. Prosecutors added murder as an act of terrorism to the list. 

He told a reporter he wishes he had killed a "young thug" or "successful older black man with blondes... these younger guys that put white girls on the wrong path."

Assistant Police Chief William Aubrey said when Jackson was arrested that he had traveled from New York to carry out his attack for one reason: Fame.

"The reason he picked New York is because it's the media capital of the world, and he wanted to make a statement," Aubrey said. 

District attorney Cyrus R. Vance said Jackson also targeted New York for its reputation for diversity. Police suggested Jackson had planned to attack more black people, but instead turned himself in. 

James Jackson prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate...
Cyrus Vance, district attorney

Caughman was remembered by childhood friends as a kind man who didn't deserve the brutality.

"Nobody [deserves it]," Portia Clark said. "I mean, come on. We're black, white, yellow, brown. That's ridiculous. We're trying to get along."

A racist 'assassin' faces terror charges after allegedly stabbing a black man to death

WATCH | Jackson's attorney, Sam Talkin, said he planned to address Jackson's "obvious psychological issues." Hawk Newsome, the leader of Black Lives Matter New York, had much harsher words.

James Harris Jackson 2.jpg
James Harris Jackson appears in criminal court during his arraignment, Thursday, March 23, 2017, in New York. Jackson, accused of randomly killing Timothy Caughman, a 66-year-old black man on the streets of New York by stabbing him with a sword, was charged Thursday with murder as a hate crime. (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, Pool)

Jackson worked in the Army as an intelligence analyst from 2009 to 2012. During his deployment in Afghanistan, he attained the rank of specialist and multiple medals. He said the military training helped him plan his attack. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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