According to a statement by the FBI, Wilson was planning to blow up a local hospital in retaliation for the government’s coronavirus response. However, the statement also noted that Wilson was the subject of a “months-long domestic terrorism investigation.”
The FBI was conducting surveillance on Wilson because he was known to the agency as a white supremacist extremist. While he was under surveillance, federal agents reportedly observed him expressing a desire to carry out acts of terrorism, including bombings.
He previously considered targets like mosques, synagogues, and schools, but as the coronavirus began to dominate the news, he became increasingly frustrated with orders that were issued in Missouri telling residents to stay home. It was then that Wilson reportedly decided that he wanted to bomb a hospital. He even began to plan the attack, going so far as to purchasing materials to build an explosive device.
“With the current health crisis, Wilson decided to accelerate his plan to use a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in an attempt to cause severe harm and mass casualties… He considered many various targets and ultimately settled on an area hospital in an attempt to harm many people, targeting a facility that is providing critical medical care in today’s environment,” the FBI said in a statement.
It appears that this could be another case where a potentially volatile suspect is chosen by the FBI and then provoked and encouraged to purchase fake explosives from federal agents.
The details surrounding the arrest were not mentioned by the FBI, but the agency’s statement did indicate that there was no actual bomb and that whatever explosive material Wilson purchased was actually fake.
The FBI also noted that the whole deal happened under the watchful eye of federal agents, which implies that some type of undercover operation took place in addition to the surveillance.