Plot to bomb Xcel Center ends with guilty plea

  • Updated: October 22, 2008 - 11:51 PM

A 23-year-old Michigan man has admitted to plotting to detonate a homemade bomb in the tunnels near the Xcel Energy Center, hoping it would cause a power failure and prompt cancellation of the Republican National Convention.

Matthew B. DePalma of Flint pleaded guilty in federal court in Minneapolis on Tuesday to illegally possessing Molotov cocktails.

According to the plea agreement:

DePalma spent about 90 minutes at the Hennepin County Library on Aug. 18 researching recipes for homemade bombs. He bought the supplies for Molotov cocktails a few days later.

He said that if he could bomb the Xcel Center on Sept. 1, "they might call off the convention."

He added that a "power outage would say a lot" and that it was his "main purpose." DePalma also said that he would like to bomb the Xcel Energy Center on Sept. 4 so that the convention would "end with a bang."

On Aug. 22, DePalma allegedly made two jugs of a homemade napalm-like substance for use in the Molotov cocktails. He was seen traveling to a remote location in Rosemount to allegedly assemble and test the Molotov cocktails.

DePalma faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Sentencing has yet to be scheduled.

In an unrelated case, two Texas men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly making Molotov cocktails during the convention. The Texans are accused of planning to use the bombs on police cars parked in a lot not far from the Xcel Center. David McKay and Bradley Crowder were part of a group of convention protesters that came north to St. Paul from Austin, Texas. Police found the bombs in a common area of an apartment building that the men were seen entering and leaving.

They allegedly bought the supplies for their bombs at a St. Paul Wal-Mart.

PAUL WALSH, JAMES WALSH

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