MINNEAPOLIS — The FBI believes authorities disrupted “a localized terror attack” in its planning stages when they arrested a man after converging on a western Minnesota mobile home that contained Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs and firearms, the agency said today.
Buford Rogers, 24, of Montevideo, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He remained in federal custody today and it was not clear if he had an attorney.
“The FBI believed there was a terror attack in its planning stages, and we believe there would have been a localized terror attack, and that’s why law enforcement moved quickly to execute the search warrant on Friday to arrest Mr. Rogers,” FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said today.
Loven declined to elaborate about the location of the alleged target, other than to say it was believed to be in Montevideo, a city of about 5,000 people about 130 miles west of Minneapolis. He also declined to say whether Rogers was believed to be acting alone or as part of a group, or if other arrests were expected.
“This is a very active investigation,” he said.
In a news release today, the FBI said it believed “the lives of several local residents were potentially saved” by the search and arrest, and said “several guns and explosive devices were discovered.” The agency said the alleged terror plot was discovered through analysis of intelligence gathered by local, state and federal authorities.
“Cooperation between the FBI and its federal, state, and local partners enabled law enforcement to prevent a potential tragedy in Montevideo,” Christopher Warrener, the special agent in charge of the FBI office in Minneapolis, said in the release.
According to a federal affidavit obtained by The Associated Press on Friday, FBI agents from the domestic terrorism squad searched the property at the mobile home park in Montevideo and discovered the Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs and firearms. The affidavit said Buford was there at the time of the search, and one firearm recovered from Buford’s residence was a Romanian AKM assault rifle.
In an interview with authorities, Rogers admitted firing the weapon on two separate occasions at a gun range in Granite Falls, the affidavit said. Rogers has a past conviction for felony burglary and is not allowed to have a firearm.
Rogers is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court this week.
Rogers’ 2011 felony burglary conviction stems from an incident in Lac qui Parle County. He also has a 2009 misdemeanor conviction for dangerous handling of a weapon in Hennepin County, as well as other criminal violations, according to online court records.