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Man With Bombs Arrested as Kansas Anti-Immigrant Hearing Opens

By Mark Potok on February 16, 2012 - 8:40 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Extremist Crime

A man whose pickup truck contained several homemade anti-personnel bombs was arrested yesterday in a tunnel leading to the Kansas Capitol in Topeka on the same day that hearings on controversial anti-immigrant immigration opened, The Associated Press reports. The man, who police declined to identify, had a sticker on his truck that read, “Welcome to America. Now speak English.”

Capitol spokesman Patrick Saleh said the pickup was parked in a restricted lot for state workers a short distance from the Capitol. Its owner, he said, was arrested in a tunnel connecting the Capitol to an office building after officers spotted an empty holster and other suspicious objects in his truck. He was unarmed and did not resist, and was being questioned later Wednesday by officials of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The man claimed to have an appointment in the office building, the AP reported, but none could be verified by authorities.

The arrest came as a state House committee opened three days of hearings on controversial anti-immigrant legislation backed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the author of most of the punishing nativist laws being passed in states like Arizona and Alabama. The hearing drew pro-immigrant protesters yesterday.

The man’s truck had a specialty Florida license plate that is only issued to qualified U.S. military paratroopers. The AP said it also had a Special Forces sticker on its bumper and a sticker on its back window saying, “Does my American flag offend you? Call 1 800 LEAVE THE USA.”

Saleh said the explosives were made with household materials and designed to spray shrapnel. He said the bombs were live, “actual explosives.”

The case and its possible connection to immigration recalled the arrest and eventual guilty plea of Jeffrey Harbin, a well-known neo-Nazi arrested in January 2011 near the Arizona-Mexico border. He was carrying 12 homemade grenade-like devices fitted with ball bearings, which were meant to “maximize human carnage,” as a prosecutor put it at the time. Details of Harbin’s plans were never made public.

  • Reynardine

    Aron, stupidity wasn’t born there; it’s just that inbreeding fixed the type.

  • Jane Perrine

    An angry, angry man who uses patriotism to mask his bitterness and hate.

  • Aron

    I had a feeling it would be north-central FL. I was in Gainesville, the next city over from Ocala (Gainesville’s in Alachua County.) There were PLENTY of people I knew who held political views strong enough to pull off something so audacious. I just didn’t think they could be that stupid.

    But then again, this is North-Central Florida. Where human stupidity was born.

  • CM

    Aron, Reynardine:

    According to AP, “The gate of the pickup bed bore a decal from a dealership in Ocala, Fla.”

    Marion, not Gilchrist, but a fairly short drive.

  • Snorlax

    That guy thought BYOB meant Bring Your Own Bombs.

  • Aron


    You’re absolutely right. Florida may be a LOT of things, but it thankfully hasn’t enacted policies quite as bad as Kobach would like.

    And Jack, in order to use the Paratrooper license plate, he would have to provide appropriate credentials to the Florida RMV. At least he wasn’t using Medal of Honor plates, right?

  • Reynardine

    Hey, Aron, as an almost lifelong resident of the Crazy Peninsula, I won’t deny a lot of *It happens here, but this is only where he came *from*. Look where he went *to*.

    P. S. I bet he’s from Gilchrist, or some similarly grotty, county.

  • ModerateMike

    How long will it be before one of these guys actually carries out a mass attack? The extreme right can get away with dismissing stories like these as liberal claptrap for now, but they won’t be able to downplay mass murder.

  • http://SPLC Jack Wolford

    Just because this guy had “stickers” about U.S. Paratroopers , Special Forces doesn’t mean he ever has served and if so honorably in the Armed Forces . They slip those stickers right off from other cars . But , that he did show up with a bomb is real and good Law Enforcement prevented real damage . We are his and the Neo-Nazis biggest enemy . The closer the election comes , the more these types will show themselves to try to intimidate good law abiding people like us !

  • http://yahoo ruben

    its just mind boggling the amount of burning hatred that resides in the hearts of most of white right wing america….and these morons always try to justify there racism and bigotry by wrapping the american flag around themselves and calling themselves patriots.but losers like this man are just the foot soldiers they are egged on by the leaders of the white right like the tea party, fox news, right wing talk shows and all the gop candidates running for office.if this man was a muslim that was caught with these bombs you would have heard it non stop 24/7 on fox news….the right in my opinion is very delusional and dangerous at this moment and i have to agree with james waller….unfortunately there is going to be a great cry in america soon and it is going to be perpetrated not by the muslims whom these hypocrites love to demonize but by a member of a home grown white right group…..god can only take so much hate and hypocrisy….if america don’t wake up to this threat it will be the end of this nation.

  • Aron

    Just one more reason I thank goodness I was able to graduate from the University of Florida and MOVE THE HELL BACK TO NEW ENGLAND.

    That state is a disaster.

  • James Waller

    Recently, I posted, on my facebook page, a lot of videos and other media, in reference to Black History Month. However, God has His hand in all things, and has also used them to exemplify why, and reiterate His message that: He is tired of racism. There shall be a great cry in America.

  • Reynardine

    More stochastic violence, to which the instigators can hum and say, “Oh, nothing…”