Though much of the country’s attention has remained fixated on the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, last Friday, a would-be terrorist attempted to plant a bomb at an airport in North Carolina.
The assailant, another middle-aged white male, openly admitted to planting the home-made device, eventually explaining he wanted to start a war on U.S. soil.
According to a complaint filed in federal criminal court, Michael Christopher Estes, 46, planted a mason jar filled with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil at the Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina.
USA Today cited authorities’ description of the bomb:
“’The device at the airport consisted of a Mason type jar with a lid that was locked down by an incorporated locking device,’ the complaint states. ‘There were prills — pellets or solid globules of a substance formed by the congealing of a liquid during processing — inside the jar and two plastic cups containing an unknown liquid substance, believed to be the fuel source,’ the complaint states. ‘There were pieces of cold compress packs inside the jar.’”
According to investigators, Estes obtained materials from Wal-Mart and Lowes to construct his makeshift explosive device. An airport maintenance worker said that at around 12:39 on Friday, Estes crossed the street from a wooded area wearing all black and carrying a bag. He then entered the airport, walked to an area out of sight, and left shortly after without the bag. The mason jar bomb in the bag reportedly had an alarm clock set to go off at 6:00 am.
A TSA check identified the explosive material after a bomb-sniffing dog signaled the bag could contain a dangerous substance.
The complaint further detailed the incident:
“Investigators found a bag in the woods with Gorilla Tape, consistent with the tape used in the device, as well as Sterno Firestar Gel, believed to be the likely fuel source for the explosive device, the complaint states.”They also found shotgun shells.
According to the federal complaint, Estes admitted to making the bomb.
“Estes described how he created the device using ammonium nitrate and the Sterno as a fuel source and then rigged the alarm clock to strike the matches and cause the flame necessary to trigger the device,” the complaint says. “Estes admitted to putting the nails in the device as well.“
Estes denied setting the alarm.
He was arrested on Saturday.
During his first appearance in federal court on Tuesday, Estes waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The judge determined he was “indigent” and appointed an attorney for him.
Estes said he was preparing to “fight a war on U.S. soil,” though it is not yet clear who exactly he believed he was going to fight.
Considering there were no fatalities, it is unsurprising this incident received little national media attention. However, as some political factions in the United States continue to sound the alarm on Islamic extremism, white males constitute a statistically greater threat, demonstrating that it matters little what demographic a would-be killer falls into. Via Anti Media