Two Men Charged For Planning To Bomb The Democratic Party Headquarters
Two men have been charged by a federal grand jury over alleged ‘specific, detailed and serious’ plans to firebomb the California Democratic Party Headquarters following last year’s presidential election.
Ian Benjamin Rogers, 45, of Napa, and Jarrod Copeland, 37, of Vallejo, California, face multiple charges in connection with their alleged plot, including conspiracy to destroy a building used in interstate commerce with fire or explosives and obstruction of justice.
Prosecutors at the Department of Justice allege the two men hatched plans to attack Democratic targets with ‘incendiary devices’ following the November 2020 election, and had contacted a right-wing militia group in an attempt to drum up support for their cause.
If convicted, NBC reports that the most serious charges carry a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
According to prosecutors, Copeland acknowledged that he had discussed plans to attack Democrats with Rogers, but claimed he hadn’t taken the talk seriously, and thought Rogers was talking to ‘blow off steam.’
Rogers was arrested and charged in January for allegedly possessing five pipe bombs, with prosecutors saying in a criminal complaint that they had found bomb-making materials at his business, as well as instruction manuals including The Anarchist Cookbook and U.S. Army Improvised Munitions Handbook.
In addition to the bomb supplies, investigators also reportedly discovered a cache of more than 50 weapons at Rogers’ home and business, as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Officers reported Rogers had a car sticker in his window showing support for the far-right extremist group the Three-Percenters and had allegedly told Copeland ‘Do you think something is wrong with me how I’m excited to attack the Democrats?’
Prosecutors reject Copeland’s claims that he did not take Rogers’ plans seriously, and instead say that he encouraged him, telling him to ‘plan attack’ and messaging ‘let’s see what happens after the 20th we go to war,’ per NPR.
The Department of Justice also alleges that the defendants ‘understood that they would be viewed as domestic terrorists and hoped that their violent acts might start a movement to overthrow the government.’
In a statement, California Democratic Party chair, Rusty Hicks, called the alleged plot ‘extremely disturbing.’
We are relieved to know the plot was unsuccessful, the individuals believed to be responsible are in custody, and our staff and volunteers are safe and sound.
Yet, it points to a broader issue of violent extremism that is far too common in today’s political discourse.
The defendants are set to appear in court next week.
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