Court Records List Evidence Against Bixby Bombing Suspect

Wednesday, July 12th 2017, 3:16 pm
By: Dee Duren

The man suspected of setting off a pipe bomb explosion outside a Bixby Air Force Recruiting Center hated the military and blamed them for his lack of a job, court records state.

Benjamin Don Roden is charged with four federal felonies: malicious damage to federal property by use of explosive, two counts of destruction of federal property and use of explosive to commit a federal felony.  Authorities say he left an improvised explosive device - a pipe bomb - concealed within a military-style ammunition can outside the center Monday night, July 10.

It detonated and caused structural damage to the building. No one was injured.

The 28-year-old Roden was a former airman who served active duty in the Air Force for two years then served in the Air Force Reserves.  He was trained as a firefighter and electrician, records show. 

7/12/2017 Related Story: Bixby Bombing Suspect Faces Federal Charges

In an affidavit of probable cause, an FBI agent lays out the evidence recovered in a search of Ben Roden's apartment and his parents' house in Sand Springs. The affidavit also describes some of Roden's social media posts and eye witness accounts that put him on the scene of the explosion Monday night.  

The FBI said Roden apparently sent anonymous letters to the Air National Guard with copies of posts from his Facebook page expressing his dislike of the military.

Those letters were opened the morning after the bombing, the affidavit states.

7/11/2017 Related Story: FBI Continues Investigation Into Bixby Air Force Station Bombing

A witness said he saw a man on a red motorcycle leave the recruiting center just before the explosion and then return to the parking lot a little later, the affidavit said. The FBI confirmed Roden had a similar motorcycle, and they tracked it to the Sand Dollar Apartments where he was taken into custody on Tuesday afternoon, July 11.

In his apartment, investigators said they found a bag containing two pipe bombs, steel pipe, wiring components, schematics, sulfur powder, Pyrodex, a handgun, assault rifle and other items.

The Facebook posts sent to the Air National Guard link Roden to a vehicle that was vandalized July 9 at the National Guard facility, records show. He also claimed the government destroyed his passport and used special warfare tactics that have "a severe psychological effect on most people leading to irrational behavior."

"They are using special warfare tactics and spying to attempt to drive these so called inadequate performers mentally unstable," a post states. "In my case they have also affected my ability to get a job."

Roden said special forces members calling themselves after Native American tribes were passing through Tulsa and going to the 10Gym.

"When these tribes drive a member unstable that person sometimes dies and no one knows what happened," a post reads. "Also, when those tribes come in many unexplained incidences start to occur."

The FBI said they interviewed Roden's last commanding officer, who told them Roden "hated the military and had received disciplinary actions for his conduct."

The commanding officer told the FBI that Roden wanted to quit the Air Force and join the U.S. Marines, but the Marines would not accept him. The sergeant said Roden blamed the Air Force for preventing him from being accepted by the Marines, the affidavit states.