Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Attempted bombing of Satanic Temple in Salem condemned as terrorist attack

A man stands on a ladder outside the Satanic Temple in Salem, Massachusetts, on Oct. 8, 2019. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)  (Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Jessica Schladebeck New York Daily News

An explosive device was chucked onto the front porch of the Satanic Temple in Salem, Massachusetts, earning the ire of the city’s mayor, who dubbed it a “terrorist attack.”

Nobody was inside the house of worship when the device landed outside the front door Monday around 4:15 a.m., Salem police said in a news release. And while the device failed to fully detonate, a part of the building was left burnt by the partial blast.

Lucien Greaves, a spokesperson and co-founder of the Satanic Temple, told the Boston Globe the device had “fizzled out, scorching some of the front of the house.”

Temple staffers did not notice the damage until they arrived late afternoon the same day. State police bomb technicians were called to the scene to ensure the explosive was no longer a danger. The building was additionally swept by police K9s for other dangerous devices. Members of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI also responded to the scene.

“While I am glad no one was injured in this attack I nevertheless condemn this action in the strongest possible way,” Salem Mayor Dominick Pangallo said in a statement to Patch on Tuesday.

“Salem is a welcoming place and violent attacks like this are utterly reprehensible,” he continued. “On behalf of the city, I want to extend our support for the staff and members at the Temple and the residents of the neighborhood who have been impacted by this crime.”

Bridge Street was temporarily closed while authorities swept the area, where residents were far from shocked that an attempted attack had occurred. Salem police have previously responded to bomb threats and possible hate crimes at the temple, including a June 2022 incident during which a man was arrested on suspicion of arson.

In the wake of the attack, Greaves explained to the Globe that the group finds “a real power in the mythology of Satan, but from a Miltonian perspective in which Satan is the ultimate rebel against tyranny,” referencing to John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”

“So to that end, we’re often fighting to preserve free speech liberties and equal access liberties, and true religious freedom, which means government neutrality insofar as religious perspective is concerned.”