Massachusetts Department of Justice photo.

Oklahoma man arrested for allegedly throwing pipe bomb at Satanic Temple in Salem, Massachusetts

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“BOSTON – An Oklahoma man was arrested and charged today for allegedly throwing a pipe bomb at The Satanic Temple (TST) in Salem, Mass.

Sean Patrick Palmer, 49, of Perkins, Okla., was charged in a criminal complaint with using an explosive to cause damage to a building used in interstate or foreign commerce. Palmer was arrested this morning and will make an initial appearance in the Western District of Oklahoma on Thursday. He will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.

According to the charging documents and TST’s website, TST is a “non-theistic organization” founded in 2013 and headquartered in Salem, Mass. In addition to serving as the organization’s headquarters, TST’s Salem location also functions as a public, TST-themed art gallery.


Massachusetts Department of Justice photo.

At approximately 4:14 a.m. on April 8, 2024, surveillance cameras outside TST captured a man walking towards TST wearing black pants, and black jacket, a black face covering, a tan-colored tactical vest and gloves. According to the charging documents, as the man approached TST, he ignited a pipe bomb—a type of improvised explosive device or “IED”—threw it at TST’s main entrance, and then ran away. Seconds later, the pipe bomb partially detonated causing minor fire and related damage to TST’s exterior.

According to the charging documents, the pipe bomb appeared to have been constructed from a section of plastic pipe covered with metal nails, which were attached to the pipe with tape. The inside of the pipe was filled with a powder-like substance, preliminarily identified as smokeless gunpowder. A single human hair was allegedly located on the pipe bomb containing a DNA profile from a Caucasian male.

A six-page handwritten note was found in a flower bed adjacent to where the pipe bomb was discovered. Among other things, the letter allegedly stated:

DEAR SATANIST
ELOHIM SEND ME 7 MONTHS AGO TO GIVE YOU
PEACEFUL MESSAGE TO HOPE YOU REPENT. YOU SAY
NO, ELOHIM NOW SEND ME TO SMITE SATAN AND I
HAPPY TO OBEY. AND ELOHIM WANT ME TO CONTACT
YOU TO TELL YOU REPENT. TURN FROM SIN. ELOHIM
NO LIKE THIS PLACE AND PLAN TO DESTROY IT. MAYBE
SALEM TOO? ELOHIM SEND ME TO FIGHT CRYBABY
SATAN, BUT WANT ME TO MAKE HARD EFFORT SO NO
ONE DIES. I OBEY.


Massachusetts Department of Justice photo.

Surveillance footage obtained during the investigation identified a black Volvo sedan, allegedly registered to Palmer, driving erratically in the immediate vicinity of TST both before and after the incident.

A photograph of Palmer, who is a Caucasian male, posted to a social media website shows him wearing a tan-colored tactical vest like the vest worn by the suspect in the TST surveillance video. Palmer also allegedly comments frequently on a social media website about religious matters and themes similar to those contained in the handwritten note found outside of TST on April 8, 2024.

Finally, the charging document alleges that on April 3, 2024, Palmer purchased PVC pipe and matching PVC end cap—like the pipe and end cap used to construct the pipe bomb—from a home improvement retailer in Oklahoma.

The charge of using fire or an explosive to cause damage to a building used in interstate or foreign commerce provides for a sentence of at least five years and up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Lucas J. Miller, Chief of the Salem Police Department made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; Massachusetts State Police; Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Oklahoma City Field Office; Payne County Sherriff’s Office; Oklahoma Highway Patrol; the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma; and Stillwater (Okla.) Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason A. Casey of the National Security Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”-Massachusetts Department of Justice.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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