Police arrest Oklahoma man accused of throwing pipe bomb at Satanic Temple

Officials also find six-page handwritten note addressed to ‘Dear Satanist’

Arpan Rai
Thursday 18 April 2024 16:41 BST
Surveillance cameras capture the man at the church
Surveillance cameras capture the man at the church (United States Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts)

Police in Oklahoma arrested a man on Wednesday accused of throwing a pipe bomb at the Salem, Massachusetts headquarters of a Satanic group.

Authorities said Sean Patrick Palmer, 49, has been charged with using an explosive to damage a building following an attack last week on the Satanic Temple building.

On 8 April around 4am, officials said surveillance cameras outside The Satanic Temple’s headquarters captured a man walking towards the building wearing black trousers, a black face covering, and tan-coloured tactical vest and gloves.

The man lit a pipe bomb – a type of improvised explosive device – which he then threw towards the building’s main entrance and ran away. The bomb partially detonated seconds later, causing a minor fire and damage to the building’s exterior.

Officials also found a six-page handwritten note addressed to “Dear Satanist” and urging repentance; it was in a flower bed near to where the pipe bomb landed.

The US attorney’s office in Massachusetts said they said they didn’t yet have the name of any lawyer representing Mr Palmer, who is a resident of Perkins in Oklahoma. Several phone numbers associated with Mr Palmer were out of service on Wednesday, AP reported.

He is due to make an initial court appearance in Oklahoma on Thursday. If found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The attorney’s office said surveillance footage showed a black Volvo registered to Mr Palmer driving erratically in the area before and after the incident.

The Satanic Temple’s website says it does not actually worship Satan but campaigns for secularism and individual liberties.

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