A Missouri man who allegedly believed he was picking up an IED to bomb a hospital died when the FBI attempted to arrest him, the bureau said Wednesday.
Timothy Wilson, 36, had been the subject of a months-long terrorism investigation “which revealed him to be a potentially violent extremist, motivated by racial, religious, and anti government animus,” the FBI said in a statement. He was allegedly planning a bombing and had considered several targets, according to the statement.
Though the FBI said Wilson was armed at the time of the attempted arrest Tuesday, it was not clear initially whether he died as a result of law enforcement fire or his own. CNN later reported that the FBI had opened fire and shot Wilson, but it’s still not clear why.
Wilson was active on internet chat channels dedicated to neo-Nazi groups, according to the hate- and extremism-focused newsletter The Informant.
Wilson accelerated his plan in light of “the current health crisis,” the FBI’s statement read, and decided to attempt to bomb an unidentified area hospital.
“At all times during the investigation, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force kept close track of Wilson in order to protect public safety,” the FBI said.
The FBI had prepared to arrest Wilson when he picked up what he thought was a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, the bureau said, though there was no actual bomb.
During the arrest, Wilson “was injured” and later died at an area hospital, the FBI said.
The Informant reported that Wilson contributed to chat groups for the National Socialist Movement and Vorherrschaft Division, the latter of which is a newer organization in the mold of accelerationist groups like Atomwaffen Division that encourage violence.
On the encrypted chat app Telegram, Wilson said the COVID-19 pandemic was the government’s excuse to “destroy our people” and blamed it on Jews, The Informant reported.
“If you don’t think this whole thing was engineered by Jews as a power grab here is more proof of their plans,” Wilson reportedly wrote. “Jews have been playing the long game we are the only ones standing in their way.”