Portland, Maine, a Muslim boy set off a chemical bomb. After 2 weeks of investigating, more information suggests the authorities may have lied from the start.
When I first contacted the Portland Maine D.A.’s office I really believed that they were as concerned as I was that they had not been informed by the Portland Police Department of the explosion that had taken place outside the Islamic Center of Portland. After two weeks of looking into this further and I am beginning to wonder who the real liars are.
September 21 Portland Maine Police officers responded to Portland Street around 8:00 pm after a homemade chemical bomb went off near the Islamic Society of Portland and the Back Bay Grill.
In my first article I reported that WCSH NBC Channel 6 of Portland had reported on their website:
“Portland Police say Islamic elders came forward to tell them that a 13 year old from the Society was experimenting and was responsible for the bomb. Another bomb was also found undetonated.”
I had been dealing with the head of the Juvenile Justice Division, Prosecution Team Leader, Assistant District Attorney, Christine Thibeault because it had been confirmed that the perpetrator was a 13 year old teen ager and this fell under her jurisdiction.
When I initially contacted the District Attorney’s office, 3 days after the explosion, they were totally unaware that an explosion had even occurred. Assistant D.A. Thibeault then contacted the Portland Police and called me back that same day as promised. She also promised to contact me on Monday September 27 after speaking with the detective in charge of the case.
Monday came and went with no call from the Assistant D.A. and I called and left messages on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Thursday I also left a message with the District Attorney herself Stephanie Anderson (top picture).
Thursday afternoon I finally received a call from the District Attorney, Stephanie Anderson. Anderson informed me that she had “instructed” Assistant D.A. Thibeault not to contact me and that she would speak with me personally. She stated that she was made aware of the situation when Assistant D.A. Thibeault (pictured right) emailed the police department and copied her on the email, thus proving that the D.A.’s office had no knowledge of the bomb prior to my telephone call.
In order to put this situation in perspective you need to know the context of the original conversation that took place between D.A. Anderson and me.
During our conversation D.A. Anderson explained to me that “no one knows what happened to the undetonated second device.”
She didn’t like using the word “bomb”. She also explained to me what the bomb was made of, she explained about the “Works” toilet bowl cleaner and tinfoil,
“Some kids figured out a few years ago that if you put this toilet cleaner in a plastic bottle and ball up a piece of tinfoil and put it inside the bottle, there’ll be a chemical reaction and it will, you know, blow up the bottle.”
The conversation continued as follows:
G.A.: Okay, but we still, according to you, you don’t know what happened to the other bottle.
Here there was a long pause and no answer so I followed up with:
G.A.: The police didn’t take that away when they arrived on scene and found this situation going on?
D.A. Anderson: (long pause) Uh, well, I’m looking into that, I’ve got a call into the brass, but, apparently, no.
After I asked for a contact to speak with at the police department and Anderson told me that they would not speak to me about an ongoing investigation she stated:
“All I can tell you at this point was, I don’t have hardly anything to go on and I’m trying to get more to go on. I had the detective over here in like, very, very quickly and he’s as frustrated as anyone else.”
I explained to the D.A. that I understood that it was difficult for her to speak about this and that it sounded like there was politics involved and she very loudly responded:
“You know, no. You know what, I don’t think that. I can’t imagine what politics there would be to be honest with you. I don’t know. I don’t know that there would be politics.”
I told her that it sounded political because she had said that the detective was “as frustrated as anyone” and that if the detective was frustrated it would be coming from the upper brass, to use her term.
“Well, it’s um, politics in the sense that, you know, I haven’t spoken to the upper brass yet and I don’t want to throw the police department under the bus.”
Laughing I said “I think they did that themselves by the fact that when I called Christine Thibeault she was totally unaware that this had even taken place, almost a week later.”
Andersons reply at this point was short and to the point:
“Yep, and uh, yep.”
I explained that I was fair in my first article which Anderson said she had not seen and that I put no blame on the D.A.’s office, I was fair and honest. Her response to this was unusual to say the least:
“I don’t, you know, you can, I don’t really, I’m not really concerned about what you print about the D.A.’s office. If you want to say that, you know, we have no information, we’re unresponsive, um, all I’m telling right now is that we’re looking into and we really don’t have much information right now.”
I told Anderson:
“It just seems to me that after a week and a half that they would have a little bit more information and definitely be able to make a decision as to whether they are going to continue an investigation. I just can’t believe that after a week and a half that the detective hasn’t come up with anything. To say, it’s just an ongoing investigation, what are we investigating? We’ve got one child involved, it’s not like there’s a whole conspiracy theory here.”
After yet another extremely long pause I asked “any thoughts?” and Anderson said:
“Do I have any thoughts? Um, well, they are not sure at this point what was in the bottle.”
This conversation started with Anderson telling me that the explosion was caused by putting the “Works” cleaner in a bottle with tin foil and you will get a chemical reaction that causes an explosion, but now she is telling me that “they are not sure at this point what was in the bottle.”
At this point in the conversation I was getting extremely frustrated so I asked again,
“But at this point they can’t tell you where the other one is so that they can test it?”
Anderson answered, “Correct.”
“This is why I would love to talk to the Police, if they didn’t take it and dispose of it or the kid’s parents didn’t take it, where did this other bottle end up?”
“Right. This is why I told you I couldn’t give you much information. I wanted to give you the courtesy of a call back. You have legitimate questions, you want answers and you don’t understand why you are not getting the answers, I am, you know, I am not really able to talk to you, um, with complete, um, you know certain things are not for public dissemination at this point.”
Anderson asked me to call her back the following Thursday, October 7, and said “I’m, I’m, I’m trying to do what I ever I can to uh, to uh, find out what’s going on.”
I followed up with one last question,
“Are you trying to find out what happened to the second bottle?”
Anderson answered, “Yes.”
So, I was lead to believe that they needed the second bottle in order to figure out for sure what was in the first bottle. I was told that “no one knows what happened to the second bottle” and that it was “disposed of”.
Since when does law enforcement need to have any of the components that make up a bomb after it goes off in order to bring charges on someone? How hard is it for the police to get a 13 year old to explain what was in the bottle? He admitted to the police that he “was experimenting and was responsible for the bomb.” What more do they need to charge him?
A bomb is a bomb and the law is the law. Yes, I can understand that they would want to know what the bomb was made of, but if the components were needed in order to charge someone most other cases would go un-charged. I can hear it now on the news. A bomb went off today, police know who did it, but since there is nothing left the perpetrator will not be charged. Yeah, right.
So I followed up with D.A. Anderson on October 7th and she told me that nothing was new to report, no charges had been filed and the investigation was still ongoing and they were still trying to find out what happened to the second bottle. She did however say something interesting,
“The 13 year old claimed he was cleaning inside the Islamic Society and that the bottle started to bubble, so he threw it out the window.”
That’s strange, I thought the Portland Police said “Islamic elders came forward to tell them that a 13 year old from the Society was experimenting and was responsible for the bomb.”
Hmmm, it also sounds to me like the kid has once again admitted what the so called device was then.
Now, after being told on many occasions that “no one knows what happened to the second bottle” as if that were really needed to charge anyone anyway, I found out some very interesting things.
I spoke to a reporter with WGME Channel 13 CBS of Portland, Maine. WGME was told by the Portland Police that “they found a second device underneath a vehicle that was parked nearby, but they were able to disable it before it exploded.”
What? Could it be? The second elusive missing bomb that D.A. Anderson said was “disposed of”, “that no one knew where it was” and that the detective in charge “was frustrated” about, which almost exploded under a car before the police were able to disable it?
Interesting, so I am supposed to believe the detective in charge of the case is unaware of this?
Now, as if this isn’t enough. Let’s get to the bottom of the preverbal toilet bowl cleaner here.
I had, in my original article used another case from Maine in which a student had been charged with a hate crime for placing a ham sandwich on a lunch table near where a Muslim student was sitting. I tried to correlate the two incidents so to show how two different teenagers were treated, one set off a bomb and no charges were filed, while the other brings a ham sandwich to school and is charged with a hate crime.
How’s this for a parallel instead?
Same State, same County and oh yes, the same District Attorney’s office. According to WMTW Channel 8 News website in Portland on April 28, 2010,
WINDHAM, Maine -- Windham police say a total of 13 chemical bombs went off in town Tuesday that resulted in two juveniles and an adult being charged with six counts each of criminal use of explosives, a Class C felony.
No one was injured in the afternoon incidents.
Travis Carignan, 18, of Westbrook, was charged with criminal use of explosives. The juveniles were 16-year-old males who attended Windham schools, said Sgt. Peter Fulton of the Windham Police Department.
Toilet bowl cleaner was used to create the chemical bombs, police said.
The teens combined toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil in Poland Spring water bottles for the explosives. A couple mailboxes were damaged by the bombs that went off throughout town.
Fulton said that the substances usually react quickly once combined with one another.
"Once it was launched, they didn't sit around for it to go off," he said of the teens.
Windham police have also learned from the state fire marshal's office that it can take the bombs up to 20 minutes to detonate because of the chemical reaction, which is why local mail carriers were warned about the explosives.
The Cumberland County District Attorney's Office could charge the teens with more counts of criminal use of explosives. Fulton said the investigation of the incidents has concluded.
So now I see, mailboxes were damaged. How horrible, mailboxes, I mean it’s not like they threw any of them under a car or anything. Or maybe the Cumberland County D.A.’s office has some sort of sliding scale, if you blow up ten or more of these things you get charged, but only one or two and you don’t. I’m sure it has nothing to do with any double standard, I must be mistaken.
Just to add some cleaner to this toilet bowl of a mess, according to an article in the Kennebec Journal, the President of the Islamic Society of Portland is Abdullahi Ahmed, who also just happens to be a science teacher at Deering High School in Maine. I’ll let you all ponder on that and make your own conclusions.
So, there you have it. In April 3 teens were charged with six counts each of criminal use of explosives, a Class C felony for the same thing this Islamic 13 year old did who has yet to be charged.
The D.A. is sticking to her story that no one knows what happened to the second bottle and they are looking into it even though a reporter at WGME informed me the Portland Police stated “they found a second device underneath a vehicle that was parked nearby, but they were able to disable it before it exploded.”
Now for the final flush… According to the Cumberland County District Attorney’s website, D.A. Stephanie Anderson is or has been affiliated with the following:
Member, Portland Terrorism Task Force
Member, Maine Anti-Terrorism Task Force