Anderson Co. serial bomber hid device in teddy bear, FBI says


The FBI said Wesley Ayers, left, hid one explosive device in a teddy bear that was placed in the middle of an Upstate road (Photo provided by FBI).

ANDERSON Co., S.C. (WSPA) — The FBI has released new details about an Anderson County serial bomber.

Wesley Dallas Ayers of Anderson received a 30-year sentence earlier this year after pleading guilty to using weapons of mass destruction. Ayers admitted to placing homemade bombs in Anderson County in early 2018.

On Monday, the FBI released a map, timeline and photo of a teddy bear in which they say Ayers placed a pipe bomb with nails.

The FBI said in a news release the teddy bear was left in a basket in the middle of a road just weeks after a man was hurt by another roadside bomb that Ayers made.

The victim’s leg was burned in the explosion.

Another device was found hidden inside a teddy bear on Feb. 15, 2018.

“This was deliberately placed where a child or passerby could have found it. Fortunately, someone saw it and knew to call us,” Special Agent Christopher Derrickson, a supervisor in the FBI Columbia JTTF, said in a statement.

Fortunately, the device was disabled by bomb technicians and no one was hurt.

Authorities say three bombs and three “hoax devices” were found over a month-long period.

The last bomb was found on a road inside a wooden box with Arabic writing, according to the FBI.

A man reportedly tipped off local police that Ayers had been practicing building bombs.

Investigators searched Ayers’ home where they found bomb components, a vest known to be used by suicide bombers and “terrorist propaganda” written by Osama bin Laden and others on Ayers’ computer history, the FBI said.

Ayers pleaded guilty in October 2018 to using weapons of mass destruction, possession and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime, and use of an explosive device during the commission of a felony.

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