Altus Police Chief: Arrest Thwarted Domestic Terror Attack
ALTUS, Oklahoma - Federal authorities are working to learn more about an Oklahoma airman accused of planning to blow up an Altus Wal-Mart with homemade bombs.
Police say the community came very close to facing a tragedy before the serviceman was arrested Tuesday.
Federal authorities say senior airman Timothy F. Carey, 26, had all of the right ingredients to build bombs inside his Altus trailer where he lived. Police say Carey also stored ingredients in a storage unit he leased.
Investigators believe Carey had the intention of causing terror throughout the city. A Wal-Mart store, just north of downtown Altus, was the main target of the thwarted domestic terror attack, according to police.
"I couldn't imagine if this actually happened," Altus Police Chief Tim Murphy said. "If he carried out this threat … what kind of chaos it would have caused. Our resources absolutely would have been stretched."
Police say Carey bragged about his plan to build and set off bombs before he caught the attention of officers at Altus Air Force Base.
"These threats were serious," Murphy said. "He had intentions of carrying out these threats."
Witnesses who tipped off base officials say Carey planned on setting off bombs at the Wal-Mart to keep officers distracted while he set off additional bombs throughout the city.
For the most part, neighbors say Carey kept to himself. Some say he showed signs of mental instability.
"He does need help, and I hope that he gets that," neighbor Sherry Rawlins told News 9.
Other neighbors say they believe Carey was suffering from PTSD. U.S. Air Force officials declined to comment on Carey's mental health status or conduct record, but took time to give credit to the citizens who tipped off investigators.
"Altus Air Force Base leadership thanks the individuals who brought this incident to light," said Lt. Katie L. Cousins as part of a prepared statement.
AAFB officials declined News 9's requests to go on camera, Thursday, due to the ongoing investigation.
Carey was being held in the Jackson County Jail as of late Thursday. Police said Carey is refusing to answer questions from investigators. An initial court appearance had not been scheduled as of late Thursday.