Michigander Who Allegedly Told Cops He Wanted To ‘Blow Up’ Satanic Temple Indicted On Explosives Charges

(REUTERS/Ted Siefer)

John Oyewale Contributor
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A Michigan man who allegedly revealed he had explosive devices because he wanted to blow up The Satanic Temple (TST) in Massachusetts last year faced explosives-related charges Wednesday, according to federal prosecutors.

Luke Isaac Terpstra, 30, of Grant, Michigan, “has been charged with transporting an explosive with the intent to kill, injure, or intimidate individuals or to unlawfully damage or destroy a building,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Michigan. Terpstra was also separately charged with illegally possessing a destructive device, according to the statement.

Terpstra built several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and transported them together with some firearms and ammunition from Michigan to the TST location in Salem, Massachusetts in Sept. 2023 with a self-professed intention to “blow up” the temple, prosecutors alleged in the statement.

Michigan’s Grant Police Department arrested Terpstra Jan. 2 following an investigation and charged him with Explosives — Possession of Bombs with Unlawful Intent, according to a mid-January joint statement by Salem Mayor Dominick Pangallo and Salem Police Chief Lucas Miller. He appeared to have visited Salem to plan the attack but did not seem to have contacts in Salem, the joint statement observed.

The arresting officers found Terpstra with IED-making materials such as “a plastic container with coins attached to it and a piece of cannon fuse coming out of the lid; numerous metal carbon dioxide (CO2) cartridges; PVC pipe; ammonium nitrate; and hobby fuses,” according to the prosecutors’ statement.

Terpstra’s mother and stepfather aided the investigation, according to WZZM 13.

“The charges announced today demonstrate my office’s continued commitment to protecting our citizens from dangerous threats,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten, according to the prosecutors’ statement. “Building explosive devices and transporting them with the intent to injure civilians and damage property puts us all at risk and those who commit such crimes will be held accountable.”

Terpstra, if found guilty, faces up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and an order to pay restitution to alleged victims, the prosecutors added.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reportedly is involved in the ongoing investigation. (RELATED: State’s First Satan Club Opens Up At Elementary School)

TST at times has been at the center of similar alleged plots and general controversy.

Federal prosecutors charged Sean Patrick Palmer, 49, of Perkins, Oklahoma, with throwing a pipe bomb into the precincts of TST, an act caught on surveillance cameras, in April, according to a separate statement. Palmer appeared to have left a note at the scene stating, among other things, that God sent him to bomb the temple, the statement alleged.

A man wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word “GOD”, later identified as Daniel Damien Lucey, 42, of Chelsea, Massachusetts, was arrested and charged in June 2022 with arson and other charges for torching the temple, CBS News reported. Lucey reportedly admitted his alleged action was a hate crime.

Former U.S. Navy veteran and Republican ex-congressional and legislative candidate Michael Cassidy, 35, decapitated TST’s statue of Baphomet displayed at the Iowa State Capitol last December and was charged with a hate crime, WLBT3 reported.

TST opened its first high school After-School Satan Club (ASSC) in Kansas last December, continuing a series of similar moves that spawned criticism, lawsuit after lawsuit, and at least one federal court order.