Homeland Security

Wisconsin Man Killed in Home Blast Had White Supremacist Materials, Stash of TATP and Guns

Law enforcement officials watch the planned detonation inside the apartment of Benjamin Morrow in Beaver Dam, Wis., on March 7, 2018. (Kelly Simon/The Daily Citizen via AP)

A search warrant filed in last month’s explosion of an apparent home explosives laboratory at a Beaver Dam, Wis., apartment complex revealed that the suspect was tinkering with TATP, an explosive used in several terrorist attacks.

The document, filed March 9 in Dodge County (Wis.) Circuit Court, also indicated that Benjamin Morrow was interested in or adhered to white supremacist ideology.

Morrow, 28, was killed in the March 5 blast at his apartment; DNA analysis confirmed the identity of the remains. The stash of compounds inside the apartment was deemed so volatile that the local fire department later conducted a controlled burn of the building.

According to unsealed warrants, a box labeled “TATP” and containing white powder was found in Morrow’s garage, and 13 jars of TATP were found in a refrigerator inside the apartment.

Triacetone triperoxide, which is highly explosive and volatile during production, can be made from easily purchased ingredients and can evade many explosive detection systems. It was used by shoe bomber Richard Reid in 2001, in the 2005 London Tube bombings, the November 2015 coordinated Paris attacks, the 2016 Brussels bombings, and the 2017 Manchester Arena attack, Brussels attack and Barcelona attack.

Found within Morrow’s belongings were “masks, black vest, rifle, exploding targets, pistol, pipes and pipe caps, 4 boxes of tannerite targets, rifle, White Supremacist material,” the warrant states. Tannerite explodes when shot.

Also found were rifle accessories, “8 handgun mags, 2 rifle mags, cordless drill, rifle case, rifle scope, ballistic helmet and vest, 680 rounds of 5..56 ammo, 110 rounds of 223 ammo, 1379 9mm, 3 loaded mags with 40 9mm rounds, bottle of BBs, pistol case, 20 rounds of 308 ammo, 3 bottle of calcium chloride” and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.

Investigators also found a Bible, another mask, bags and a scale.

According to Morrow’s obituary, he was raised Baptist, and “graduated from Morrow Home School in 2007” and from Pensacola Christian College in Florida in May 2013, earning a bachelor’s degree in pre-pharmacy, with minors in chemistry and mathematics.

The search warrants had reportedly been sealed out of concerns that Morrow may have had co-conspirators, which investigators have not yet found to be the case.

The white supremacist materials were found in Morrow’s bedroom, investigators said. Morrow’s body was found in front of the kitchen stove, where a burner was on.