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Tag: Bomb

FBI Foils Terrorist Plot to Blow Up Mall in South Florida

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI foiled an alleged plot to detonate a bomb in a shopping mall in South Florida, arresting the suspect behind the planned attack.

The arrest of Miami resident Vicente Solano, an alleged ISIS sympathizer, came during an FBI sting operation, CBS News reports

The FBI, acting on a tip by a confidential informant, said the suspect was acting alone and was planning a large-scale attack on Dolphin Mall in Doral, near the Miami International Airport.

Solano planned to detonate what turned out to be a hoax bomb from undercover FBI agents.

Solano is expected to appear in Miami federal court today.

Austin Man Who Threatened to Kill Obama Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

Gavin Friedman

Gavin Friedman

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 21-year-old Austin man who threatened to kill President Obama and a U.S. attorney and blow up federal buildings was sentenced Tuesday to more than five years in prison.

Gavin Friedman pleaded guilty to making a threat against the president and mailing threatening communications, the Dallas Morning News reports

In a January 2016 letter threatening to kill Obama, Friedman said he would become a martyr in the name of Allah.

Either month later, Friedman threatened in a letter to blow up the FBI field office in Houston and the White House.

“Threats such as these have no place in a civilized society and will be vigorously prosecuted,” U.S. Attorney John Parker said in a written statement.

Man Charged After Packing Mason Jar with Explosives at North Carolina Airport

Michael Christopher Estes

Michael Christopher Estes

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Pledging to “fight a war on U.S. soil,” a man packed a Mason jar with explosive chemicals and nails and left it at an airport in Asheville, N.C.

The FBI alleges Michael Christopher Estes placed an improvised explosive device at the airport near the terminal entrance Friday morning, CBS News reports

Estes was charged with attempted malicious use of explosive materials and unlawful possession of explosives at an airport.

Authorities are still trying to determine Estes’ motive to “fight a war in U.S. soil.”

Estes, who is Native American, is being held without bond at the Buncombe County jail. 

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigating ‘Terrorism Links’ to Post Office Bombing in Indiana

police-lineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine “if there are any terrorism links” to the bomb that exploded at an East Chicago, Ind., post office on Wednesday, but insisted “there is no ongoing public safety concern.”

The Chicago Tribune confirmed from the FBI that a pipe bomb caused the explosion shortly after 6:30 p.m. 

“At this time, investigators are still trying to ascertain if there are any terrorism links,” FBI spokeswoman Chris Bavender said in a release.

The explosion injured a female post office employee, who sustained non life-threatening injuries.

The post office was “up and running for business” Thursday morning, U.S. Postal Inspector Mary T. Johnson said.

“There is no disruption of mail delivery service,” Johnson said.

The post office was not damaged in the explosion.

FBI Takes Lead in Investigation of Post Office Bombing That Injured Postal Worker

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has taken a leading role in investigating an explosion at a post office in Eastern Chicago, Indiana that injured a postal worker.

Authorities said an explosive device was detonated at the post office in northwestern Indiana at about 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Injured in the explosion was a female postal worker. Her injuries don’t appear to be life-threatening.

The Chicago Tribune reports that two employees were inside the post office during the explosion.

East Chicago Fire Chief Anthony Serna said it wasn’t immediately clear whether additional bombs were found.

Whatever the case, Serna said, bombings like this are rare.

“Bomb threats, yes,” Serna said. “An actual explosion like this is rare.”

The FBI is taking over the case because the explosion occurred in a federal building.

No suspects were in custody as of Thursday morning.

Family: FBI Manipulated Schizophrenic Son to Inspire Bomb Plot in Oklahoma City

Bombing suspect Jerry Drake Varnell

Bombing suspect Jerry Drake Varnell

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The family of a man accused of trying to detonate what he believed was a bomb outside of a bank in downtown Oklahoma City said the suspect is a paranoid schizophrenic and was manipulated by the FBI.

The mother and stepfather of 23-year-old Jerry Drake Varnell said undercover agents took advantage of their son’s mental condition and that he was incapable of carrying out an attack without additional help.

Varnell lived at home and was jobless because of his mental illness, Clifford and Melonie Varnell, of Oklahoma, said in a statement picked up by the Associated Press

“The FBI came and picked him up from our home, they gave him a vehicle, gave him a fake bomb, and every means to make this happen,” the statement said, adding that authorities “should not have aided and abetted a paranoid schizophrenic to commit this act.”

The FBI declined to comment this week.

Varnell faces up to 20 years in prison on a charge of attempting to use explosives to destroy a building in interstate commerce.

Varnell “has suffered through countless serious full-blown schizophrenic delusional episodes and he has been put in numerous mental hospitals since he was 16 years old,” the family’s statement said. 

The Varnells said their son is easily manipulated and that they believe the confidential informant who tipped off the FBI may have inspired the attempted attack.

FBI: Man Tried to Detonate Bomb in Oklahoma City, But It Was Fake

Bombing suspect Jerry Drake Varnell

Bombing suspect Jerry Drake Varnell

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 23-year-old Oklahoma man after the FBI said he tried to detonate what he thought was a vehicle bomb targeting a bank in Oklahoma City.

Jerry Drake Varnell was arrested Saturday morning in Oklahoma City following a long-term FBI investigation into domestic terrorism, the Justice Department announced Monday.

The FBI was tipped off that Varnell hated the federal government and originally wanted to bow up a building in Washington D.C.

An uncover FBI agent was in contact with Varnell via encrypted texts and Facebook messages and offered to help him assemble a bomb in downtown Oklahoma City.

Feds said Varnell was arrested after he parked a van with what he thought was an explosive device near BancFirst and dialed a number on his cell phone to detonate the “bomb,” which was inert and couldn’t explode.

FBI: Pipe Bomb Found in Suspect’s Oklahoma Man’s Apartment Had ‘Unusual’ Features

Bombing suspect Benjamin Roden.

Bombing suspect Benjamin Roden.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of two pipe pipe bombs found in the Oklahoma apartment of a man accused of setting off explosives near a military recruiting office had “unusual” features typically seen outside of the U.S., according to an FBI investigation.

One of the pipe bombs found in 28-year-old Benjamin Roden’s apartment in Tulsa contained magnets and two 9-volt batteries – features “typically seen in other parts of the world,” the Tulsa World reports.

The bomb was “unusual for Oklahoma,” the government affidavit reads.

Roden was arrested in July following a pipe-bomb explosion outside of an unoccupied Air Force recruiting office in a suburb of Tulsa.

The investigation is ongoing, but federal authorities said last week that the explosion didn’t appear to be domestic terrorism.

Rosen, a former Air Force senior airman, joined the Air National Guard in 2014 but later resigned after failing to complete training to become a certified electrician.

Other Stories of Interest