Knoxville Man Arrested for Synagogue Bomb Plot

  • August 19, 2004


Federal Agents arrested a former National Guardsman for allegedly planning to blow up a synagogue and a National Guard armory in Tennessee. 

According to the FBI, Ivan Duane Braden, 20, threatened to kill a rabbi and children by blowing himself up in a synagogue and to blow up an armory in Lenoir City.

Braden was arrested on October 13, 2004, at Peninsula Hospital, a mental health facility where he had checked himself in the previous day.  Authorities charged him with two federal counts of attempting to destroy an armory and possession of an unregistered firearm.

After Braden told a counselor at a hospital about his plans, the hospital contacted the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, who then informed the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

During a search of Braden’s residence, authorities found bomb making materials, knives, a shotgun and neo-Nazi paraphernalia.  Gunpowder, empty carbon dioxide containers and fuses were found in Braden’s vehicle. 

Authorities also found “notes relating to a suicide bombing in a Jewish synagogue,” according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.  In an interview with the FBI at the hospital, Braden said that he planned to wear a coat filled with bombs and get “as close to children and the Rabbi as possible to cause the greatest amount of damage possible.”

Braden claimed to have spoken to two “Skinheads” about their “mutual” hatred toward Jews, African-Americans and the government, according to the complaint.  Braden also allegedly admitted to a plan to take hostages at the armory and then blow up the building. 

Braden was expelled from the 278th Regimental Combat Team on September 15 after he “experienced problems interacting with other soldiers and following military rules,” according to the complaint.

FBI Special Agent R. Joe Clark said, “Mr. Braden represents the most difficult kind of terrorist - the lone wolf.”