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Man accused of bombing Oklahoma Air Force recruiting office deemed mentally incompetent

TULSA, Okla. – A former Air Force senior airman suspected of setting off a pipe bomb outside an Air Force recruiting office in Oklahoma has been declared mentally incompetent for trial on federal charges.

In July,  officers with the bomb squad were called to an explosion at the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Center in Bixby.

Fortunately, no one was injured since the recruitment center was closed at the time.

Investigators say the suspect threw a pipe bomb, which was concealed with a military style ammunition can, at the office, the affidavit states.

Air Force Recruiting Office Bixby

Officials identified 28-year-old Benjamin Roden as the person of interest in the case after receiving a tip about comments he made on social media.

Roden, a former Senior Airman in the U.S. Air Force, was trained as a firefighter but wanted to be trained as an electrician by the U.S. Air Force, court documents state.

His former commanding officer said Roden “hated the military and had received disciplinary actions for his conduct.”

He reportedly wanted to quit the Air Force and join the U.S. Marines.

When Roden was not accepted by the U.S. Marines, he allegedly blamed the U.S. Air Force, the affidavit states.

Benjamin Roden

According to the affidavit, when authorities went to Roden’s apartment, they reportedly found items associated with the manufacturing of explosive devices and two other pipe bombs.

A federal grand jury indicted Roden earlier this month on charges that include using an explosive to damage federal property, using an explosive to commit felonies and possessing unregistered destructive devices.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank McCarthy on Tuesday ruled that 28-year-old Benjamin Roden had some type of “mental disease or defect,” making him unable to assist in his defense.

McCarthy ordered Roden be committed to a federal mental facility for evaluation.