Man charged for allegedly planting pipe bombs outside telecommunications stores

The Justice Department on Tuesday filed a criminal complaint against a Michigan man for allegedly planting pipe bombs at two telecommunications stores in the state.

The complaint includes images it says shows John Douglas Allen, allegedly angry about "immoral communications," in the act of placing explosives outside an AT&T and a Verizon store in northern Michigan last week.


The pipe bombs were placed in boxes that also contained handcuffs and had the moniker "Handcuff Johnny" written on them, prosecutors say.

Allen, who allegedly defines "immoral communications" as foul language, pornography and "all manner of indecent communication," claimed to be part of the "Coalition for Moral Telecommunication," which prosecutors allege he later admitted was a fictional organization.

The suspect also allegedly taped notes addressed to AT&T, Verizon and "all other carriers" to three telecommunications towers in northern Michigan that he believed were related to the stores. In the missives, he threatened to go around the country "and begin distroying [sic] inner city tower communication" unless several demands were met, prosecutors said.

The notes "contained language indicating that this was the 'last warning' and that next time, it would be during 'business hours,'" court documents say.

After placing the pipe bombs, Allen swapped his Michigan license plate for a California one to avoid detection, prosecutors allege.


Federal agents were able to identify Allen shortly after seeing his vehicle on a toll camera system. During the interview with federal agents, Allen allegedly admitted to the attempted bombings.

"Allen bought the components of the bombs about one year ago at various hardware stores. He used cash to buy these components to avoid detection by law enforcement. For the past year, the bombs were in a box at his property. He waited a year to build up the courage to place them," court documents say.

Allen allegedly told agents that he acted alone and the "Handcuff Johnny" reference would mean he'd likely end up in handcuffs as a result of his actions. He was charged with extortion and attempted damage or destruction of buildings but has not yet entered a plea.

A lawyer for Allen did not respond to an ABC News request for comment.
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