Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Erum Salam

US man arrested for allegedly throwing pipe bomb at Satanic Temple

The Baphomet statue at the Satanic Temple
The Baphomet statue at the Satanic Temple in Salem, Massachusetts, in 2019. Photograph: Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images

An Oklahoma man was arrested on Thursday morning in last week’s bombing attempt of a Satanic Temple in Massachusetts.

Sean Patrick Palmer, 49, of Perkins, Oklahoma, was arrested on charges of “using an explosive to cause damage to a building used in interstate or foreign commerce”, the United States’ attorney office for the district of Massachusetts said in a statement.

The Satanic Temple does not actually worship the devil or believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural, but rather uses Satan as a symbol of free will, humanism and anti-authoritarianism. It regularly angers rightwingers and Christians.

The explosive device was found last week near the porch of the Satanic Temple at its headquarters in Salem, Massachusetts. Palmer allegedly made the bomb from a piece of plastic, metal nails, and tape and it was filled with a “powder-like substance, preliminarily identified as smokeless gunpowder”.

The district attorney’s office said: “At approximately 4.14am 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.”

He deployed the pipe bomb at the temple and ran away, but it only partially detonated, resulting in a minor fire which damaged the exterior of the building.

Investigators said they were able to connect Palmer to the incident with a single human hair found on the pipe bomb containing a DNA profile from a Caucasian male, who matched Palmer’s description.

The district attorney’s office said Palmer will make an initial appearance in the western district of Oklahoma on Thursday. At a later date, he will appear in federal court in Boston.

If found guilty, Palmer could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The Satanic Temple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.