Hoax IED Found at Scene of Attempted Church Arson
TRIPwire, 09 August 2018
On 8 August at approximately 0730 hours local time, church leaders extinguished smoldering fire logs placed alongside of an exterior wall of a Jehovah’s Witness church in Yelm. Deputies from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office were called in when church leaders discovered a suspected improvised explosive device (IED) on the ground outside the church. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were called to the scene. Thurston County Bomb Squad technicians also assisted in the investigation and determined the IED was a hoax device that was “designed to look like a real explosive.” Detectives stated that this is the fifth similar attack at Jehovah’s Witness churches in Thurston County since March 2018. A joint task force was assembled specifically to investigate these incidents, which appear to be related.