Federal agents arrested a western Massachusetts man and accused of him trying to blow up a Jewish assisted living facility — but he instead left his DNA on the failed explosive, authorities alleged Wednesday.
John Michael Rathbun, 36, of East Longmeadow was charged with two counts of attempted arson after local police found a 5-gallon plastic gas container with burned paper placed in the nozzle of the canister outside the assisted living home on April 2, according to a criminal complaint.
The burned paper was a Christian religious pamphlet, and blood was on the side of the gas canister and the paper, the FBI said.
The blood is alleged to have matched Rathbun’s DNA, which had been stored in a federal database because of his 2011 arrests on charges of breaking and entering and receiving stolen property.
Investigators discovered a white supremacist organization on a social media platform in March targeting “the jew nursing home in longmeadow massachsusetts,” according to the complaint written by Special Agent Ryan McGonigle, assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The FBI didn’t name Rathbun specifically as the person who made the posts.
Court papers did note that the online user who discussed the nursing home, identified in court papers as Ruth’s House on Converse Street, also said April 3 would be “jew killing day.”
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SOURCE: NBC News, Tom Winter and David K. Li