By Allen Edmonds firstname.lastname@example.org The FBI shooting of an armed suspect Tuesday at a storage facility on Wilbur Parish Circle in Belton was the result of a months-long domestic terror investigation according to Bridget Patton, public affairs officer of the agency’s Kansas City Field Office.
The intended target of what agents believe was to be a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device was to be an area hospital, in order to take advantage of the current COVID-19 pandemic and harm as many people as possible. Patton did not specify which hospital was targeted, and declined to confirm whether or not it was Belton Regional Medical Center.
Timothy Wilson, 36, was the subject of the investigation, which “revealed him to be a potentially violent extremist, motivated by racial, religious and anti-government animus,” Patton said in the statement.
“Wilson was actively planning to commit an act of domestic terrorism – a bombing – and over the course of several months had considered several targets. With the current health crisis, Wilson decided to accelerate his plan, and use a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in an attempt to cause severe harm and mass casualties.”
The statement said that he had targeted a facility that is “providing critical care in today’s environment,” and had “taken the necessary steps to acquire materials needed to build an explosive device.”
At all times during the investigation, the statement said, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force had kept close track of Wilson in order to protect public safety.
In close coordination with prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, the FBI was preparing to arrest Wilson when he arrived to pick up what he thought was the explosive device, according to the statement.
There was no actual bomb, according to Patton.
“The FBI has and will continue to aggressively work with our local partners and our Joint Terrorism Task Force to combat and prevent any acts of terrorism,” the statement said. “We remain mission-focused to protect the safety and well-being of the communities we serve.”
The New York Times, in a story posted Wednesday evening, quoted unnamed FBI officials as saying that Wilson had expressed racist and anti-government sentiments, and had been under scrutiny since September. The sources said that at one point, he had considered attacking multiple targets, including a school with a large number of black students, as well as a mosque and a synagogue.
The closest mosque is in South Kansas City, and the closest synagogue is in Leawood, Kan.