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Man arrested after allegedly throwing pipe bomb at Salem Satanic Temple

Local News

FILE – A person stands on the porch of the international headquarters of the Satanic Temple in Salem, Massachusetts, October 24, 2016. An Oklahoma man was arrested Wednesday, April 17, 2024, after authorities accused him of throwing a pipe bomb at the building last week. AP Photo/Elise Amendola, file

BOSTON (AP) — An Oklahoma man was arrested Wednesday after authorities accused him of throwing a pipe bomb at the Salem headquarters of a group called The Satanic Temple.

The Salem-based group says on its website that it campaigns for secularism and individual freedoms, and that its members do not actually worship Satan.

Sean Patrick Palmer, 49, of Perkins, Oklahoma, was charged with using an explosive to damage a building following an attack last week on the headquarters, which is also used as an art gallery.

Several phone numbers associated with Palmer were out of service Wednesday, and the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts said it did not yet have the name of an attorney representing him. He is scheduled to make his first appearance in Oklahoma court on Thursday. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Surveillance cameras showed a man walking toward the building shortly after 4 a.m. on April 8, wearing a face covering, tactical vest and gloves, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI. The man then lit an improvised explosive device, threw it at the main entrance and then fled. The bomb partially exploded, causing minor damage, authorities said.

The bomb appeared to be made from a piece of plastic pipe, authorities said, and they were able to extract a DNA sample from a single hair from the bomb.

The prosecutor’s office said investigators found a six-page note in a flower bed near the attack, addressed to the “dear Satanist” and calling for repentance. Authorities said Palmer posted similar comments on social media.

The prosecutor’s office also said surveillance footage showed a black Volvo registered to Palmer driving erratically in the area before and after the incident, and that Palmer had recently purchased PVC pipes from a home improvement store home in Oklahoma.

The Satanic Temple states on its website that it does not believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural. The group could not immediately be reached for comment.


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