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Tag: Bomb

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

FBI Arrests Suspect in Attack on 3 Starbucks Stores in Albuquerque

Suspect in vandalism of a Starbucks store in Albuquerque.

Suspect in vandalism of a Starbucks store in Albuquerque.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a suspect accused of vandalizing three Starbucks stores and leaving behind suspicious devices, including one that detonated, early Friday in Albuquerque.

The suspect, who has not yet been identified, was arrested Saturday.

The ATF also is investigating.

The stores appear to have been struck with bullet holes, and glass doors were shattered.

“We heard gunshots go off. At least four rounds of gunshots go off, and then we heard a large explosion,” a witness who lives near the Starbucks in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill told KOAT-TV. “It was like a big flash — like, orange and white — just smoke everywhere.”

The explosive device that detonated caused minimal damage to a Starbucks in southeast Albuquerque.

ATF, FBI Investigating Suspicious Package with Actual Bomb Components Outside School

ATF LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal investigators responding to a report of a suspicious package outside of an elementary school in Alabama found a device with wires and a timer.

The ATF, FBI and local police responded to a bomb threat at Magnolia Elementary School and were surprised by what they found, AL.com reports. 

According to a caller, a Latino man placed the package in front of the school.

The device, which was found on a pickup truck in the school parking lot, contained actual bomb components.

“We did find a small amount of what we believe to be an actual explosive,”  said Dave Hyche, ATF’s assistant special agent in charge in Alabama.

Authorities detonated the device in nearby woods.

Federal officials said the investigation could be lengthy.

Other Stories of Interest

Kansas Militia Member Tipped Off FBI of Anti-Muslim Group’s Talks of Violence

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The anti-Muslim militia group in Kansas that is accused of conspiring to bomb an apartment where 120 Somali immigrants lived was exposed when one of its members contacted the FBI.

The member of the group, “The Crusaders,” was alarmed by talks of violence and agreed to become a confidential source for the FBI, CBS News reports. 

Three militia members were charged with conspiring to detonate truck bomb at the apartment complex in Garden City.

Patrick Stein, 47; Gavin Wright, 51; and Curtis Allen, 49, have been charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Thanks to the informant, the FBI was able to monitor the group for months as the plot became more specific. The informant introduced an undercover FBI agent to the group.