Michigan Man Accused of RNC Molotov Cocktail Plot

23-year-old allegedly wanted to "make some bombs" to disrupt the GOP convention.

ByABC News
September 3, 2008, 5:05 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2008— -- The FBI has arrested a 23-year-old Michigan man who allegedly wanted to make a chemical bomb and attempted to disrupt the Republican National Convention by making Molotov cocktails.

According to a criminal complaint against Matthew Bradley DePalma unsealed today, DePalma allegedly told an FBI informant about his desire to "make some bombs" in order to cancel the convention.

The FBI learned about DePalma's alleged intentions after the informant, who was in communication with an FBI special agent, met DePalma at a July meeting called CrimethInc. Convergence. The gathering included members of the Republican National Convention Welcoming Committee, an anarchist group described on its Web site as "an anarchist/anti-authoritarian organizing body."

Court documents in the case indicate the FBI closely watched DePalma after he allegedly intended to undertake acts of violence. According to the documents, he allegedly stated his desire to attack police, saying, "I will light one of those pigs on fire."

The federal public defenders office, which is representing DePalma, declined to comment on the matter.

DePalma, who was arrested Saturday on one count of possession of firearms that were not registered to him, could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

According to court records, the FBI informant learned that DePalma, of Flint, Mich., had traveled to Minneapolis and arranged to stay with the informant. With the informant's consent, the FBI rigged the informant's apartment with audio and video surveillance.

"DePalma expressed his desire to build a chemical bomb that he could use to cause a power outage at the Xcel Center… DePalma stated that the [informant's] apartment would be a good place to make the bomb," the FBI affidavit in the case said.

According to the affidavit, DePalma allegedly obtained the supplies needed for Molotov cocktails on Aug. 21. The next day, "DePalma stated that, if he can bomb the Xcel center on Sept. 1, 'they might call it off' referring to the convention. He added that 'a power outage would say a lot' and 'that is my main purpose.' Alternatively, DePalma stated that he would like to bomb the Xcel center on Sept. 4 so that the convention would 'end with a bang,'" according to the affidavit.