A couple from Birmingham, Alabama, has been arrested after planting a fake bomb at a local elementary school. According to the authorities, the couple planned to use this diversion to shoot police officers or to rob a bank.
On the 16th of November, the local police department received a call about a strange package found outside Birmingham’s Magnolia Elementary School. Several officers from the local police department, as well as members of the ATF and bomb disposal units, were mobilized after that call.
According to ATF’s statements, after reaching the school, the bomb disposal unit found a suspicious package outside the elementary school. Upon opening the parcel, the authorities found gunpowder, some modeling clay, and time attached to it. However, they were unable to find a detonator.
A couple of minutes later, the bomb disposal crews detonated the device. However, the police did not have any suspect at that time.
Captain Jeff Bridges, Trussville’s chief of police said that the package itself was harmless, but it was considered a threat nonetheless. The subsequent investigation revealed that the timer used to construct the bomb was bought from a local Walmart.
Upon reviewing the security tapes from the shop, investigators determined that the timer was bought by an African-American female. The police determined that the woman who appeared on the tape was Raphel Dilligard.
Further investigations revealed that the woman had an accomplice, later identified as being Zachary Edwards. After the suspects had been apprehended, they were brought to the local police station for an interview. Their story is baffling, to say the least.
According to the couple’s statements, this action was planned for a long time. Dilligard and Edwards admitted that the reason why they’ve staged the fake bombing was to attract as many police officers as possible in the vicinity of the school. Once the authorities arrived to investigate the bomb, the couple planned on opening fire.
However, they did have a backup plan. Edwards and Dilligard said that in the event that they were unable to open fire, they planned on using this opportunity to rob a nearby bank.
In addition, Edwards, one of the suspects apprehended in the case of the fake bombing, declared that he was affiliated with the Black Mafia and with the Black Panthers. Police were unable to confirm the man’s statements.
For their actions, Edwards and Dilligard will face several charges, including possessing a fake destructive device, making terrorist threats, and rendering a false alarm.
Image source: Wikipedia