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Okie in a Volvo charged with driving 1,600 miles to try to blow up the Satanic Temple in Salem

Surveillance photo of suspect throwing a pipe bomb

Surveillance photo of suspect throwing lit pipe bomb.

An alleged Christian who prefers Old Testament nomenclature was arrested in Oklahoma today on charges he tossed an IED at the headquarters of the Satanic Temple in Salem on April 8.

The pipe bomb - a two-foot-long section of PVC pipe stuffed with smokeless gunpowder and covered with nails taped to it - more fizzled than exploded and so did relatively little damage after Sean Patrick Palmer, 49, tossed it at the Temple's front door, according to an affidavit by an FBI agent on the case.

According to the affidavit by Special Agent Osama Khudari, this might have been Palmer's second trip to Witch City and the Satanic Temple's Bridge Street headquarters: Perkins left a note in the shrubs outside the building that started: "ELOHIM SEND ME 7 MONTHS AGO TO GIVE YOU PEACEFUL MESSAGE TO HOPE YOU REPENT." Salem Police reported that in September, seven months ago, somebody had spray painted "JOHN 3:16-20, PSALM 141, ACTS 3:19" on the side of the building.

Palmer, from the affidavit:

Palmer

According to the affidavit, Palmer, an active participant in a private Facebook group called "Crushing all Atheist, Evolutionist, and Muslim Arguments," got some PVC pipe and an end cap at "a national home improvement retailer" in Stillwater, OK, about 15 minutes north of his home, on April 3, then drove up here from his Perkins home, about 60 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

Once he crossed into Massachusetts, he did not drive directly to Salem, according to the affidavit. State Police license scanners caught his black Volvo in Randolph, all the way on the other side of Boston, at 1:52 a.m. on April 8 and then Lynn at 2:21 a.m.

Surveillance video obtained by the FBI after the failed bombing showed him entering Salem around 2:41 a.m. He then drove around Salem for about 90 minutes before pulling up on a street near the Satanic Temple, where he got out, walked over and used a lighter to ignite the pipe bomb, which he then tossed at the Temple building, according to the affidavit.

And then, he raced back to his car and tried to book it out of Salem, only since he's not from around there, he promptly got confused by the local roads:

As the vehicle approached the Essex Bridge, it turned and began traveling south in the northbound travel late. The car then reversed, entered the correct travel lane, and continued driving south. It appears from these videos, therefore, that the driver of the car was likely not familiar with the Salem area.

In addition to the IED, Palmer left behind a grammatically challenged note that read:

DEAR SATANIST
ELOHIM SEND ME 7 MONTHS AGO TO GIVE YOU
PEACEFUL MESSAGE TO HOPE YOU REPENT. YOU SAY
NO, ELOHIM NOW SEND ME TO SMITE SATAN AND I
HAPPY TO OBEY. AND ELOHIM WANT ME TO CONTACT
YOU TO TELL YOU REPENT. TURN FROM SIN. ELOHIM
NO LIKE THIS PLACE AND PLAN TO DESTROY IT. MAYBE
SALEM TOO? ELOHIM SEND ME TO FIGHT CRYBABY
SATAN, BUT WANT ME TO MAKE HARD EFFORT SO NO
ONE DIES. I OBEY.

Despite its name, members of the Satanic Temple do not actually believe in Satan: "To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions. "

According to the affidavit, investigators found two hairs with the pipe bomb: One that they have identified as belonging to a Caucasian man and one belonging to a dog with dark hair. Palmer, the affidavit continues, is a white guy who has a dog with dark hair.

Palmer, who will make his first court appearance in Oklahoma City federal court tomorrow, was formally charged with using an explosive to cause damage to a building used in interstate or foreign commerce, the US Attorney's office in Boston says. If convicted, Palmer faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

When one asks, "What would Jesus do?", I'm thinkin' it's definitely not that.

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Voting closed 68

That was a surprisingly quick investigation considering that the target was the unoccupied building of a less than universally popular group. Glad they caught the perp.

But this line intrigued me: "State Police license scanners caught his black Volvo in Randolph, all the way on the other side of Boston, at 1:52 a.m. on April 8 and then Lynn at 2:21 a.m." Are there police cameras tracking license plates 24/7 along our highways?

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"Are there police cameras tracking license plates 24/7 along our highways?"

everything is being tracked, from your cell phone to your car.

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Car tires come with a transponder that broadcasts the tire pressure and a unique ID every few minutes. You can buy a $25 software defined radio to record this information if you wanted to make a log of almost every car that passes by your house.

The SDRs are also useful for logging weather station data among other things.

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for logging passing cars. Might work at stoplights, though?

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Dude seems to be the type to have rejected the 5G Vaccination Nanochip tracked by chemtrails.

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license plate scanners are around, and will become more ubiquitous and responsive.

Since license plates are required for vehicle identification, the argument is that you have no privacy interest in license plates being seen. It's a pretty good argument, even if an examination of your vehicle's movements could intrude on your privacy and exercise of constitutional rights.

Most people will take the tradeoff in today's USA. This case shows the utility of the scanners. Hit and runs?

Extending the argument to facial recognition scanning and tracking is dubious. It's true that you don't have a privacy right in your face not being seen in public, or that you waive it if you go out without a mask or niqab. You are not required by the government to have a photo ID in the USA, so the analogy to license plates is not there.

Law enforcement facial recognition use in the USA is through programs like ClearviewAI which use the photos you and others have uploaded to social and other media. It's an after-the-fact thing, where CCTV images are presented to Clearview's database for a match for further investigation. Contrast with China, where constant face tracking is fed into AI programs to flag criminal and politically dissenting patterns.

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Many argue that your right to privacy ends at your doorstep

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I see a difference between privacy of communication and thoughts vs operation of a large vehicle.

Basically, Verizon shouldn't be allowed to keep a record of my exact location and internet traffic from my phone and house. (But yet, they legally do.) But the police should be allowed to keep a record of a car passing a license plate reader.

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% risk of this guy being next vice president sayeth Elohim. Right Republicans?

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Tough place to be a defendant in a bombing case.

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Except the crime occurred in Salem, MA.

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Just making an interesting observation.

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The point is that he won't be a defendant in Oklahoma City. The crime was in Salem/Essex County, the trial will be in Essex County. His appearance in an Oklahoma courthouse is only for the extradition hearing, not a trial.

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He will be making appearances in Boston at the Moakley Courthouse, as the charge he's currently facing is for a federal crime committed in the Eastern Division of the District of Massachusetts. Surely he will also be facing charges under Massachusetts law as well, but we haven't seen those charges yet.

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.

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is in Oklahoma City. I don't really know the details of how this all works, but obviously something is being decided in Oklahoma City, and that's going to be a tough venue.

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Given that tomorrow is the 29th anniversary of said bombing, they will arraign his ass today and he'll be out of state less than an hour later. Interestingly, the courthouse he'll be in is right next to the memorial site.

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Perfectly normal Republican, ca. 2024.

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If we're going to have a civil war in the next generation (and if there's a way to prevent it, I sure would love to know what it is) it's going to be a lot less like the 1860s model and a lot more like the Northern-Ireland-in the 70s or the Italian Years of Lead. Let's just hope that most of the MAGA desperadoes are as incompetent as this guy.

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The Civil War never ended. All we did is put the guns down. All one needs to do is look at a map of the USA with red and blue states displayed and you will see how divided we are already.

Interesting though, a majority of the blue states are in areas with interstate and international commerce and cultural exchange, whereas the red states are in more insular areas which is promoted and adhered-to from within.

This is about conformity and control as opposed to free thinking. This is an American Taliban. the free world as we know it.

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All one needs to do is look at a map of the USA with red and blue states displayed and you will see how divided we are already.

Agree on the division (I'm not going to touch the "but we're all really purple" argument, it's at least as facile as the red-and-blue argument), but it isn't exactly the old Confederacy vs. the Union. For one thing, a number of states didn't exist yet; for another, several have switched hands (note: Ohio). If you've read Heather Cox Richardson's writing about the influence of Mainers on the Union and the composition of the (then) western states such as Ohio, Illinois, and then Kansas, you can see that.

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and if there's a way to prevent it, I sure would love to know what it is

Let's not get carried away.

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I do not believe that there are any normal Republicans in 2024.

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I'm guessing this guy learned to write from Tarzan, King of the Jungle.

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Or he was trying to misdirect - although it's hard to tell what he would be trying to misdirect TO.

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did Tarzan know ELOHIM? This guy knows ELOHIM.

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I wonder if he's wearing the bulletproof vest because that's his idea of what's tacticool, or whether he's a coward.

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Per Elohim’s instructions.

One of Christ’s soldiers.

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...In the righteousness of your cause like covering your face.

Also, nothing shows the important of education, specifically science class, like being unable to carry off a simple pipe bomb competently.

Give this loser wanna-be terrorist a fair trial and then toss him in jail. Maybe he can also take some remedial English classes while he's in there.

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I'm gonna guess that he could probably get a better education through a prison in Massachusetts than from the best school in Oklahoma.

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If we had that system of punishment this guy would regret ever leaving Oklahoma.

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Possibly exploited by a sociopath leader/s who are too clever to get their own hands sullied.

Perhaps time away from that group, a good prosecution team and maybe therapy can help him see that that any useful information he may have would be best revealed to to law enforcement.

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Possibly exploited by a sociopath leader/s who are too clever to get their own hands sullied.

This. It's the catspaws who are doing the direct damage.

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You can't be surprised; Volvos have long been associated with cults.

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