An Alabama couple has been arrested in connection with a fake bomb threat designed to draw out law enforcement and make them easy targets as part of a larger alleged scheme to start a race war.
Thirty-five-year-old Zachary Edwards and 34-year-old Raphel Dilligard were arrested after the former planted a fake explosives device outside of Trussville Elementary School last week.
According to AL.com, the couple has been charged with possession of a hoax destructive device, rendering false alarm and making terrorist threats.
The charge of terrorist threats refers to information obtained by police from Edwards, who claimed to be a member of the Black Panthers and the Black Mafia.
Police received a 911 call on Nov. 16 they later learned was from Edwards, who disguised his voice as a woman’s, reporting a suspicious package with wires attached.
Police responded as Edwards allegedly planned, in a “full-court press,” as ATF assistant special agent Dave Hyche described it.
“My guys believe this individual to be a very dangerous person,” he said. “When we first saw what we had, we knew this was something to take serious and we put on the full-court press. It disturbed us from the start. I’ve never seen such a well-orchestrated and rapid response.”
The police investigation traced the fake call back to a phone Edwards used to use. Both Edwards and Dilligard were taken in for questioning on Tuesday.
Disturbingly, Edwards admitted to placing the hoax bomb to lure law enforcement out and make them easy shooting targets, and even expressed a desire to start a race war.
“He wanted everybody in one place so he could kill cops. He made it clear to our guys he wanted to commit acts of violence. This arrest probably did stop something bad from happening,” agent Hyche said.
The couple could be facing federal charges.