A Tulsa man identified as former Oklahoma Air National Guardsman Benjamin Don Roden has been jailed in connection with the bombing of a Bixby Air Force recruitment office which took place late Monday evening.
According to reports, Roden previously served active duty Air Force before joining the Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 138th Fighter Wing in Tulsa at unknown date. As explained by public affairs officer Capt. Jennifer Proctor, Roden was discharged from the Air National Guard in April, however, the reason for his discharge has yet to be released.
As reported by News on 6, the bombing took place around 10:30 pm Monday while the recruiting station was closed and thankfully no one was injured.
Federal agencies initially stated they were investigating the incident as possible ‘domestic terrorism,’ however, they later walked back that statement adding that ‘all‘ possible motives from political, criminal or the actions of a ‘disgruntled ex-employee‘ were being investigated.
Now that the identity of the suspect has been released, it appears the motive was the latter.
Roden, 28, is on a federal hold in the Tulsa Jail in connection with the explosion. The explosive device, a pipe bomb, was detonated about 10:30 p.m. Monday at an Air Force recruiting center in Post Rock Plaza near 104th Street and Memorial Drive in Bixby.
Federal law enforcers booked Roden into jail on complaints of possessing explosive materials and destruction of government property, according to records.
Federal and local authorities took Roden into custody Tuesday afternoon initially as a person of interest at the Sand Dollar apartment complex near 61st Street and Riverside Drive in south Tulsa.
Roden listed on his jail booking sheet that Advance Research Chemicals in Catoosa, Oklahoma, was his place of employment. The chemical company produces chemicals, including fluoride, acetates, nitrates, sulfates and oxides, according to the company’s website.
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Roden, who served in the military and was upset by the circumstances surrounding his discharge, has made anti-government posts on his Facebook page in recent days. Details of his military service and discharge were not immediately available.
Ben Roden posted an apparent threat about damaging a government vehicle on his Facebook page on July 9.
“That government vehicle looks beautiful setting outside that office in tulsa. That is how I am going to make up for 2 years 7 months without a job and harrassment,” he wrote.
CNN previously reported that “a nearby National Guard recruiting center was vandalized,” and “That vandalism included slashed tires.”
In the September 2016 post, a friend asked him, “Bro did you ever get everything straightened out with your discharge the reason why I ask is I was in the Air Force years ago and I have never had no problem with them I am so sorry man that you had all this s*** happen to you.”
Roden replied, “no I did not. thanks.”
A witness told KJRH-TV that a person on a red motorcycle, described as a “crotch rocket” threw a backpack at the Air Force recruiting center and then drove off. The backpack then blew up. The witness said it appeared there was a “pipe bomb” inside the backpack.
“It’s a little bit comforting that they didn’t want to kill anybody,” FBI Special Agent Jessi Rice said at a press conference. “Obviously they would have done it in broad daylight if that were the case. So, from that standpoint, it’s a positive.”
Roden currently being held without bond.