Arrest Made in Blast at Oklahoma Air Force Recruiting Center

A door lies on the ground at the scene of an explosion at an Air Force recruiting office in Bixby, Okla., Tuesday, July 11, 2017, after an explosion Monday night. (Mike Simons//Tulsa World via AP)

TULSA, Okla. — A 28-year-old man has been arrested following a pipe bomb explosion this week outside an Air Force recruiting center in Oklahoma, a federal agent said Wednesday.

U.S. Deputy Marshal Jeff Johnston told The Associated Press that Benjamin Don Roden was arrested Tuesday and has been booked in the Tulsa jail without bond. Court records indicate Roden will make an initial appearance in federal court Wednesday afternoon.

According to the arrest report, Roden faces federal charges of possession of explosive materials and destruction of government property. He hasn’t been formally charged. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.

The bomb was detonated Monday night in front of the recruiting center in the Tulsa suburb of Bixby. The center was closed and no one was hurt, federal authorities said.

The recruiting station is in a commercial area that also houses restaurants, financial planning firms and other businesses. A movie theater is nearby. The door of the recruiting center was blown off and landed in a parking space in front of the storefront and soot-covered windows.

FBI agent Jessi Rice said Tuesday that a person of interest had been taken into custody at a Tulsa- area apartment complex, but she said she couldn’t provide the individual’s name and that investigators were questioning the person.

Rice said earlier Tuesday that federal authorities were no longer investigating the pipe bomb explosion as a possible act of domestic terrorism, telling reporters that the blast could have been the work of a disgruntled employee or a prank.

A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had said the blast was being treated as a possible act of domestic terrorism out of “an abundance of caution,” because of its proximity to the recruiting office.

Messages left for numbers listed for Roden’s mother and sister were not immediately returned Wednesday.



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