Alphonso D. Mobley Jr. was allegedly building a bomb with a powerful, but unstable explosive that he was cooking in the kitchen of a vacant Columbus, Ohio house when it detonated, blowing off both hands.
Despite his injuries, the 26 year-old man was charged yesterday with possession and manufacture of a dangerous ordnance alongside 21 year-old Roberto M. Innis Jr.
Uninjured in the Tuesday morning blast, Innis called emergency services to the scene and later allegedly confessed to helping manufacture a dangerous ordnance.
Triacetone triperoxide, better known as TATP, is an old, but powerful explosive used by suicide bombers in the Paris attacks last year. Long known to extremists as ‘the mother of Satan,’ it is easily set off by friction, static electricity, or flame.
While there is no word yet on where Mobley learned to make the compound, neighbors tell 10TV that both are ‘sovereign citizens,’ a category that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies consider at least as dangerous as Islamic terrorists.
Most ‘sovereign citizens’ are not violent. Some are merely deluded by tax avoidance schemes, while others are ‘paper terrorists’ who use false liens and other instruments to commit fraud. Still others are just petty criminals, homeless squatters, or paranoid Dale Gribble characters who want to skip paying for a driver’s license and car registration.
Nevertheless, by one count, self-proclaimed ‘sovereigns’ have murdered or assaulted police officers at least 24 times since 2014. David Marx, the man who assaulted the Cummings County, Georgia courthouse with an assault rifle and grenades in 2014, was a sovereign.
First responders initially assumed the explosion was the result of a meth lab, which sadly is not an uncommon occurrence in the Midwest. But when the State Fire Marshall’s lab team tested the unknown substance, they decided to evacuate a half-dozen surrounding homes and destroy the remaining explosives in the vacant house the men were using to build their bomb.
“It’s safer where it sits than moving it across town, so we attempt to render it safe on location,” O’Connor explained. “It was safer than trying to move it cause we weren’t sure what would happen.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Innis confessed that the bomb was part of an armored car robbery scheme — but only after a few hours of being interviewed by authorities who found his 911 call and subsequent statements hard to swallow.
“An explosion happened and my friend is on the ground bleeding,” Innis said. Asked by a fire dispatcher what exploded, Innis repeatedly said he didn’t know because he was on the porch when it happened.
He said his friend’s hands were “splattered” and that he was “unresponsive.”
“He was handling something and it exploded?” the dispatcher asked.
“Yeah, his hands exploded,” Innis answered.
‘Exploding hands syndrome’ must have been a great laugh in the squad room.
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