A former member of the Air Force has been charged in connection with an explosion outside a US Air Force recruiting office near Tulsa, Oklahoma, authorities said Wednesday.
Benjamin Roden, 28, was charged with malicious damage to federal property by use of explosive, use of explosive to commit federal felony and destruction to federal property, said Acting US Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Loretta F. Radford.
Radford, speaking at a news conference Wednesday, said it appeared Roden was motivated by a hatred for the military.
He had served as a senior airman in the military but was disciplined and resigned, she said. He tried to enlist in the Marines but was turned down, she said.
“He believed it was the Air Force that was keeping him from being a member of the Marines,” she said.
Investigators searched Roden’s residence and his parents’ residence and found pipe bombs and materials to make pipe bombs, Radford said.
Bomb squads responded to the explosion in Bixby, a suburb of Tulsa, at about 10:30 p.m. local time Monday, Bixby police Sgt. Tim Scrivner said. No one was inside the Air Force recruitment center at the time of the blast.
The FBI made the arrest after anonymous letters were sent to the Air National Guard with copies of posts from Roden’s Facebook page expressing his dislike of the military, Radford said.
Also helpful was a witness who reported seeing someone on a motorcycle in the area of the bombing, Radford said.
The FBI is not calling the bombing an act of terrorism, but the case is still being investigated, Radford said.
A few days earlier, a nearby National Guard recruiting center was vandalized, police said, according to FBI Special Agent Jessi Rice. That vandalism included slashed tires.
The FBI said it is investigating whether the two attacks at military recruitment centers are related.