A naturalized U.S. citizen born in Iran planned to blow up a school in Amarillo, Texas, federal authorities revealed this week. At the time of his arrest, the man had several explosive devices and a suicide vest in his possession.
This week, 33-year-old Erfan Salmanzadeh went before a U.S. district judge in Texas where he pleaded guilty to the use and the attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed. Salmanzadeh’s sentencing has been set for a later date and faces a possible life term in prison. Federal prosecutors revealed that while he was born in Iran, Erfan is a naturalized citizen.
The case began on July 26, 2021, when the Amarillo Police and Fire Departments responded to a house in connection to a loud explosion, a criminal complaint filed by the FBI revealed. Local police met with Salmanzadeh’s father at the house. When Erfan found out that police were at the house, he flushed down the toilet a gallon jar of homemade explosives in powder form. He also tried to dispose of other explosives, a nail bomb, a PVC bomb, and a suicide vest.
During questioning, Erfan told authorities that he manufactured the explosives by buying readily available chemicals and was testing mixtures by trying to blow up his Xbox video game console in the backyard.
According to plea agreement documents, Erfan recorded a video claiming that he wanted to blow up a local high school. Other videos obtained by authorities showed the man testing explosives. They also found journals with bomb-making instructions.
According to prosecutors, Erfan planned to fly to California on July 28, 2021, to avoid detection by law enforcement after a bombing.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.