A man who planted a bomb at an airport in Western North Carolina said he wanted to “fight a war on American soil” and teach police a lesson during his trial, which concluded on Friday with a guilty plea.
As U.S. Attorney Lia Batanvani wrote in a statement, would-be bomber Christopher Michael Estes pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of explosive materials in an airport, a charge that could have a maximum sentence of five years and $250,000 in fines.
Estes’ bomb had an alarm clock positioned to go off at 6 A.M. on October 6, 2017, but he never set it. He told federal agents that rather than actually bombing the Asheville Regional Airport, he wanted “to devise a training scenario” for the public and police. He also admitted that he wanted law enforcement to pick up the explosive so they would “know how” to make one of their own, and staged a backpack near the explosive with some of the materials he used to build it.
Estes believed “terrorists were coming to the United States,” and wrote the words “FOR GOD & COUNTRY” and “FOR ALL THE V/N VETS OUT THERE!!!” on his explosive.