A Massachusetts man accused of putting pipe bomb-style devices on high-voltage power lines left a note threatening to attack other utilities and publish bomb-making instructions on the Internet, federal authorities said.
Danny Kelly, 62, of Chelmsford, was arrested Saturday, days after firefighters responded to a brush fire near National Grid electric power lines in Tyngsborough. He was accused of a similar offense a decade ago and has filed several lawsuits against his hometown, NBC News reports.
No plea was entered in his federal court appearance in Boston on Monday afternoon. He's being held until Thursday's probable cause and detention hearing.
Kelly, a former engineer, is accused of using thermite he bought on eBay to try to cut power cables from Quebec to the Boston area, according to NBC News.
Authorities said the incident was not an act of terrorism but was intended to cause major damage.
"I can't think of any other reason why someone would want to do that, other than sinister reasons," said FBI Agent Peter Kowenhoven, adding that the bomb-like devices "were not explosive."
Police Chief Richard Howe said the spark from one of the devices started the brush fire Wednesday afternoon.
According to an FBI affidavit, Kelly left a note on a utility pole in Tyngsborough saying he was going to war and threatening attacks on critical infrastructure.
"It is going to be an expensive war, if you want to play it. I see no way you can win!" the note said, according to NBC News. "Now I fully understand that I cannot win. That is not the point."
When the FBI interviewed Kelly and told him they knew he was responsible, Kelly allegedly responded, "then arrest me," NBC News reports.
Kelly is charged with an unlawful act to "attempt to maliciously damage and destroy property used in interstate and foreign commerce and in an activity affecting interstate and foreign commerce by means of fire." He's due in court Monday.
He was also charged more than a decade ago with a similar crime and pleaded guilty to extortion in 2005. He was accused of cutting approximately 18 telephone and cable lines and writing to Verizon and Comcast — NBC's parent company — threatening to cut more unless he received thousands of dollars every month, according to the FBI and court records.
Kelly claims in court documents to be terminally ill with cancer and has represented himself in most lawsuits, NBC News reports.
His court-appointed defense attorney had no comment.