NATIONAL NEWS

Explosive device thrown onto porch of Satanic Temple in Massachusetts, no injuries reported

Apr 9, 2024, 4:03 AM

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — Someone threw an explosive device onto the porch of The Satanic Temple in Massachusetts at a time when no one was inside, and the device and damage it caused were not found until nearly 12 hours later, police said. No injuries were reported.

State police bomb technicians ensured that the device was no longer a danger, police said in a news release Monday. Police dogs swept the location for other devices and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is assisting with the investigation.

The device was thrown onto the porch at about 4:14 a.m. Monday and not discovered until staff arrived about 4 p.m., police said.

Police did not provide details on the damage.

Police have responded to the temple previously for bomb threats and hate crimes. In 2022, a man pleaded not guilty to arson, destruction of a place of worship and civil rights violation charges after he was accused of setting fire to the building.

In January, a man was charged with a hate crime, accused of destroying a statute of a pagan idol at Iowa’s state Capitol. It was brought there by the Satanic Temple of Iowa under state rules allowing religious displays in the building during the holidays.

Founded in 2013, the Salem, Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple says it doesn’t believe in Satan but describes itself as a “non-theistic religious organization” that advocates for secularism. It is separate from the Church of Satan, which was founded in the 1960s.

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Explosive device thrown onto porch of Satanic Temple in Massachusetts, no injuries reported