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Tipsheet

Federal Agents Charge Man With Firebomb Attack Against Pro-Life Organization

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

On Tuesday, federal agents arrested a man who they believe firebombed a Wisconsin pro-life lobbying group’s office after the Dobbs leak last May. 

The U.S. attorney’s office in Madison announced that Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury, 29, has been charged with one count of attempting to cause damage by means of fire or an explosive. He was arrested at Boston Logan International Airport after DNA uncovered from food he disposed of connected him to the attack (via U.S. Department of Justice): 

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According to the complaint, on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, 2022, at approximately 6:06 a.m., law enforcement responded to an active fire at an office building located in Madison, Wisconsin. Once inside the building, police observed a mason jar under a broken window; the jar was broken, and the lid and screw top were burned black. The police also saw a purple disposable lighter near the mason jar. On the opposite wall from the window, the police saw another mason jar with the lid on and a blue cloth tucked into the top; the cloth was singed. The jar was about half full of a clear fluid that smelled like an accelerant. Outside of the building, someone spray painted on one wall, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either” and, on another wall, a large “A” with a circle around it and the number “1312.” During the investigation, law enforcement collected DNA from the scene of the attack.

In March 2023, law enforcement identified Roychowdhury as a possible suspect. Local police officers observed Roychowdhury dispose of food in a public trash can; the officers recovered the leftover food and related items, and law enforcement collected DNA from the food. On March 17, 2023, law enforcement advised that a forensic biologist examined the DNA evidence recovered from the attack scene and compared it to the DNA collected from the food contents. The forensic biologist found the two samples matched and likely were the same individual.

In March 2023, Roychowdhury travelled from Madison, Wisconsin, to Portland, Maine, and he purchased a one-way ticket from Boston to Guatemala City, departing this morning. Law enforcement arrested Roychowdhury at Boston Logan International Airport. Roychowdhury will have a detention hearing in Boston.

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Pro-life publication LifeNews shared Roychowdhury’s image on Twitter and noted that he also attacked the state’s capitol building.

According to the Associated Press, after the attack against the Wisconsin Family Action Office last year, someone threw Molotov cocktails into a pro-life organization’s office in Salem, Oregon. Around the same time, two Catholic churches in Colorado were vandalized.

In January, police assigned to protect the state Capitol in Wisconsin reviewed surveillance footage from a protest against police brutality. The footage showed people spray-painting graffiti on the Capitol grounds, which resembled the graffiti at the pro-life office. The car seen in the footage was tracked to Roychowdhury’s home in Madison. Law enforcement began following him.

On March 1, Roychowdhury threw away a bag of fast-food at a park-and-ride in Wisconsin. Police retrieved the trash and found that the food in the bag matched the DNA taken from the attack at the pro-life office.

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“I’m very proud of the tireless and determined efforts the combined federal, state and local team put in to identify and arrest this individual,” William McCrary, a special agent in charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives’ St. Paul Field Division told the outlet. “It is very satisfying to me to see that this alleged perpetrator has been placed in custody.”

Last year, when the Dobbs decision leaked, groups like Jane’s Revenge promised a “summer of rage” against pro-life groups. In January, months after a slew of attacks, the FBI announced it would investigate pro-life pregnancy center attacks. In response to the FBI’s announcement, Heartbeat International’s Vice President of Communications and Marketing Andrea Trudden told Townhall that “I really do pray and hope that they do find out the people behind Jane’s Revenge and those who have been firebombing pregnancy organizations nationwide and prosecute them to the fullest extent.”

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