The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs said it again in a report it published in November, “The Rising Threat of Domestic Terrorism”: “National security agencies now identify domestic terrorism as the most persistent and lethal terrorist threat to the homeland. This increase in domestic terror attacks has been predominantly perpetrated by white supremacist and anti-government extremist individuals and groups.” Conspicuously lacking from this oft-repeated claim are actual white supremacist terrorists, but a recent case in Texas may help: a man who is most certainly not black or Hispanic plotted to blow up a high school in Amarillo. There’s just one catch: in a bracing little reminder of the actual terror threats that the Left’s propaganda and fantasies have obscured, he’s a Muslim, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Iran.
Amarillo’s KVII reported Thursday that Erfan Salmanzadeh, 33, pleaded guilty on Monday to “use and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.” The “use” part of that stems from a July 2021 incident that brought Salmanzadeh to the attention of police. KVII noted Tuesday that Salmanzadeh “recorded multiple videos in which he referenced the high school.” In one of these videos, which Salmanzadeh recorded on July 22, 2021, he was “standing in his backyard speaking in a mixture of English and Farsi, said he was going to blow up Tascosa High School,” a public high school in Amarillo.
“We are going to blast the school,” Salmanzadeh, a Tascosa High School graduate, declared. What did he mean by “we”? The police have not said anything about that, and there is no hint in the available reports as to who his accomplices were, or if he even really had any. “We are going to hit Tascosa,” Salmanzadeh continued. “Look at these.” He then “pointed the camera at a nail bomb filled with shrapnel, a suicide vest filled with pipes labeled as explosives, a suitcase filled with containers labeled as explosives, and a backpack filled with bottles labeled as explosives.”
Four days after that, “a neighbor reported hearing a loud explosion at 3613 Lenwood Drive. The caller said they [sic; I don’t care what your gender studies prof told you, kids. People aren’t plural. The caller was a he or a she] heard a similar noise a few weeks earlier but did not report it.” When police responded to the call, they found a “large crater” in Salmanzadeh’s backyard that “appeared to have been created by an explosion.”
Salmanzadeh, however, attempted to explain the hole and the explosion away. He told the cops that he had been “popping small firecrackers” in his backyard, as well as “hitting them with a hammer.” And the hole? “He also said he was digging holes in the backyard with a shovel.”
Well, that would certainly explain it. But “when police walked through the house with Salmanzadeh’s father, Salmanzadeh admitted to police that he blew up his Xbox in his backyard using triacetone triperoxide (TATP). He said he placed a PVC pipe filled with TATP inside the Xbox to see how much damage it would cause. According to an APD bomb technician, TATP is a homemade explosive that is ‘extremely unstable and reacts violently to friction and shock.’ He admitted flushing a ‘gallon sized jar of TATP down the toilet’ after police arrived that morning.”
Salmanzadeh also admitted that he had “placed a suicide vest, nail bomb and the Xbox in a dumpster in the alley behind his home.” It was true: “Police found the suicide vest, nail bomb and Xbox in dumpsters in the alley.” The vest was suitably stylish: it was “brown with blue suspender straps and had several sewn pockets filled with red cylindrical-shaped tubes. The word ‘Dynamite’ appeared to be handwritten in black ink on some of’ the tubes. The nail bomb was a ‘cylindrical-shaped device with several red cylinders inside of it. Several rows of nails and BBs were taped around the nail bomb as shrapnel.’”
Police then searched this Nobel laureate’s home and found two PVC pipes; one had “what appeared to be a Christmas light glued to the side of it and with the end of the wires stripped bare”; the other featured “a piece of duct tape, with the word ‘Explosive’ written on it.” Both of these pipes “appeared to have an explosive filler.” They also found other material that is “often used in the creation of improvised explosive devices, such as equipment and precursor chemicals.” Videos showed Salmanzadeh “testing an explosive powder in his backyard.” He also had “journals that contained notes and formulas related to the production of explosives.”
He also had a plane ticket for July 28, 2021, on which date he “planned to fly to California” so as to “avoid being arrested ‘after any bombing or attack.’”
It was good of law enforcement authorities to discover Salmanzadeh’s plot even though he isn’t one of the white supremacist terrorists they spend the bulk of their time trying to find (or create). But how many more like him will succeed in their plots because our counterterror apparatus is hopelessly corrupt and politicized?