An Army veteran arrested after a seven-hour standoff was charged Wednesday with threatening to kill President Barack Obama as part of what authorities said was his plan to ignite a war between Muslims and Christians and "start an apocalypse."


Federal agents arrested Roman Otto Conaway, 50, when he surrendered early Wednesday at his home after the confrontation, in which he insisted a bulky belt he wore and three storage containers on his Fairview Heights property were packed with explosives.

The FBI and the criminal complaint say the belt turned out to carry only inert putty-like material — similar to children's molding clay — made to look like high-grade explosives, with wires attached to a curling iron Conaway claimed was a triggering device. Nothing dangerous was found in the storage drums.

Conaway was in custody and was scheduled to appear in federal court on Thursday on one count apiece of making a threat against the president and making false threats to detonate an explosive device. Bond was not immediately set.

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