Teddy bear was actually a bomb made by convicted South Carolina terrorist, FBI says

Wesley Dallas Ayers
Wesley Dallas Ayers Spartanburg County Detention Center

The photos show a gray teddy bear, arms outstretched sitting in a basket in the middle of a road directly on top of the double yellow lines.

The FBI says the bear, left on a road in rural Anderson County, South Carolina, concealed a bomb. It was one of a series of bombs and hoax bombs found in January and February 2018.

“This was deliberately placed where a child or passerby could have found it. Fortunately, someone saw it and knew to call us,” FBI Special Agent Christopher Derrickson said in a press release on June 17.

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The FBI says convicted terrorist Wesley “Dallas” Ayers left this teddy bear concealing a bomb on a road in South Carolina. FBI

The FBI arrested Wesley “Dallas” Ayers, then 26, not long after the bear bomb was discovered. He lived near where the three bombs and three hoax devices were planted.

When investigators searched Ayers’ home, they found bomb-making materials, copies of the writings found with the bombs, “two guns and a type of vest known to be used by suicide bombers,” the FBI said.

“Ayers’ computer history showed he had self-radicalized, consuming terrorist propaganda from Anwar al-Awlaki, Osama bin Laden, and others,” according to the FBI.

He pleaded guilty in October to using weapons of mass destruction and other charges. In February, a federal judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison, according to the Department of Justice.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.