A first responder to the huge explosion last month at a Texas fertilizer plant was arrested Friday for possessing a pipe bomb – but officials aren’t linking his arrest to the deadly incident. The probe, however, is now a criminal matter, they said.
The arrest Friday of a first responder to the deadly April 17 fertilizer plant blast in West, Texas, on explosives charges, is a new wrinkle that may call into question whether the incident that killed 14 people – including 12 firefighters and paramedics – was in fact a tragic industrial accident, as most people in the area believed.
Texas authorities arrested Bryce Reed, a paramedic with West Emergency Medical Services, at 2 a.m. Friday and have since charged him with possession of a pipe bomb. Mr. Reed was among those who responded first to the fertilizer plant explosion and served for a time as incident commander at the site. He was also shown giving a taped eulogy for explosion victim Cyrus Reed at an April 25 memorial in Waco, Texas, attended by President Obama.
Police have neither confirmed nor denied that Reed’s arrest is tied to the plant explosion. However, authorities said Friday that the Texas Rangers and the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department have launched a new criminal probe into the incident, with Texas Department of Public Safety chief Stephen McCraw pledging that the state will “leave no stone unturned.”
“Keep an eye on this story, perhaps especially on the federal involvement,” writes Hot Air blogger Ed Morrissey. “Until now, no one had intimated that this might be a deliberate act.”
On May 1, officials told a Texas House committee that they had interviewed 300 people and followed 160 leads during the investigation into what happened on the night of April 17. At that hearing, Assistant State Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner said the investigation should be complete by May 10 and that the chance remained that the cause would be classified as “unknown.”
On Monday, investigators said they had ruled out weather and natural phenomena as causes of the blast, which happened about 20 minutes after a fire began tearing through a fertilizer and seed building on the property.
The Reed arrest and revelations of a new criminal probe raise questions about criminal mischief, even terrorism, given that the blast occurred two days after two bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three people and injuring at least 260 others. In the West explosion, which registered 2.1 on the Richter scale, nearly 200 people were injured, and a nursing home, school, and dozens of houses were destroyed or damaged.
The Associated Press reported that Bryce Reed, a Texas paramedic who helped evacuate people on the night of the explosion in West has now been charged with possessing bomb-making materials including a pipe and chemicals.
His arrest has not been officially connected to the West fertiliser plant disaster.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said in a statement: “This disaster has severely impacted the community of West, and we want to ensure that no stone goes unturned and that all the facts related to this incident are uncovered."
The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office was called earlier this week to a home near West where they found a pipe, a variety of chemicals and fuses.
They say the objects belonged to Reed, who didn’t enter a plea when he appeared in court Friday. Source
Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag? 2014 11 21 Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance 2014 11 21 Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not ‘absolute right’ 2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ
The new head of Britain’s GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies.
“GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,” Hannigan said. “But privacy ...
LOL: Atheist Feminist Pornographer Used as Moral Authority in T-shirt Row 2014 11 21
Dr. Matt Taylor was thrust into the headlines this last week, largely for his lead role in successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet 300 million miles from earth that travels at a speed of 85,000 mph. In short, Taylor and his colleagues pulled off one of the most amazing achievements in contemporary science and space exploration, and in a ...