A couple in Birmingham, Alabama were apprehended after making several bomb and terrorist threats last month, on November 16th. Raphel Dilligard and Zachary Edwards admitted to an intricate plot which also involved killing police officers in order to rob a bank.
Mr. Edwards told the police that he was going to rob a bank while the law enforcement officers were busy investigating the shooting. Also, Zachary Edwards says that he is a member of the Black Panthers, a black activist group. Apart from robbing the bank, the couple wanted to start a racial war, as well, according to their statements.
The Couple’s Plot to Rob a Bank
After placing a hoax destructive device which resembled a bomb at Magnolia Elementary School, the couple alerted the police. Mr. Edwards says that their plan was to shoot the first responders in order to create a distraction.
The couple was ultimately charged with making multiple terrorist threats, rendering false alarm, and possession of a hoax destructive device.
The police was able to retrace their steps and discovered a recording of Dilligard purchasing the bomb’s timer from Walmart. However, even if the package contained traces of explosive, it was not set to detonate. Instead, the couple would have shot the first officers on the scene in order to rob a nearby bank.
Zachary Edwards says he was going to go through with his plan. However, he was unable to rob the bank because a police officer was patrolling the area at the time.
Upon further investigation, the police found out that the 9-1-1 call came from the suspects’ house. Raphel Dilligard and Zachary Edwards are in a committed relationship and also live together.
The Couple’s Previous Records
Mr. Edwards has previously served three years in prison for attempted murder back in 1999. Also, his criminal record goes well past that. In the past, he was also charged with second-degree assault which also landed him several years in behind bars. Moreover, Mr. Edwards was also charged again with attempted murder in 2006, after trying to shoot a man with a shotgun.
“My guys believe this individual to be a very dangerous person” says Dave Hyche. He is an assistant special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
On the other hand, Raphel Dilligard does not have a criminal record. If something, her Facebook profile depicts her as a devoted mother of two. Moreover, she also has a diploma from Brown Mackie College-Atlanta in 2015. In the past, she was an accountant for HeatTrack, LLC. Furthermore, from 2002 up until 2004, she worked in the U.S. Navy as a corpsman.
In 2016 alone, no less than 60 police officers were shot in the U.S. The following investigation showed that on 20 occasions, the perpetrators targeted and ultimately ambushed the law enforcement officers. Police ties the numerous shootings to black activist groups. As far as the hoax bomb incident is concerned, the couple can also face federal charges.
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