TULSA, Okla. — A military veteran accused of detonating a pipe bomb outside a Tulsa-area Air Force recruiting office blames the federal government for his two years of unemployment, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.
Benjamin Don Roden, 28, of Tulsa, is charged with two counts of destruction of federal property, one count of use of explosives to commit a federal felony and one count of malicious damage to federal property by use of explosives.
Roden joined the Air Force in 2012, and the Oklahoma Air National Guard two years later.
A pipe bomb was detonated Monday evening at a shopping center in Bixby, damaging windows and blasting a front door off its hinges into the parking lot. No injuries were reported and the office was closed at the time.
Roden is also accused of vandalizing a federal government vehicle at a second Air Force recruiting office, on July 9.
Loretta Radford, acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma, told reporters after Roden’s first court appearance Wednesday that the evidence does not indicate domestic terrorism so far. She said there was no evidence so far that Roden received help from others.
Witnesses reported that a white man on a red motorcycle tossed a backpack at the Bixby recruiting office before it exploded. Prosecutors say Roden is the registered owner of a red Honda motorcycle and that two pipe bombs were found at his apartment.
“Roden has been described as being upset with the U.S. Air Force for not being accepted into the U.S. Marines in addition to being described as ‘hating the military,’” the four-count complaint states. “Roden’s apartment contained multiple items associated with the manufacturing and making of explosives.”
Federal officials said packages mailed to an Oklahoma Air National Guard base in Tulsa before the explosion contained printed comments from Roden’s Facebook profile, complaining that his passport had been destroyed and that he was being spied upon for being “too smart.”
“Any country willing to let me come over to you and get a job, let me know,” the comments said, according to the complaint. “A special warfare tactic was developed off of what I naturally do and I can teach what I do. I have knowledge of analog circuits, some electrician knowledge and natural mechanical and electrical ability. I think the U.S. government is trying to keep me from leaving because of my special warfare capability.”
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