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FBI Arrests Suspect in Wisconsin Pregnancy Center Firebombing Almost One Year Later

National Review 3/28/2023 Caroline Downey
A spray-painted threat on the building wall near Wisconsin Family Action's offices in Madison, Wisc., May 8, 2022. © Molly Beck/USA TODAY Network via Reuters A spray-painted threat on the building wall near Wisconsin Family Action's offices in Madison, Wisc., May 8, 2022.

In Boston on Tuesday the FBI arrested a suspect in the firebombing of a Madison, Wisc. pro-life pregnancy center, putting the justice process in motion nearly one year after the Mother’s Day attack.

Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury, of Madison, was charged with one count of attempting to cause damage by means of fire or an explosive, the Department of Justice announced.

The complaint alleges that Roychowdhury used an incendiary device on May 8, 2022 to terrorize and intimidate Wisconsin Family Action, which offers maternity care, ultrasounds, and other alternatives to abortion.

Last June, the FBI said it would be investigating assaults on pregnancy resource facilities across the country following the leak of the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade as acts of domestic violent extremism. In January, the bureau said it would be offering a $25,000 reward to sources who could provide information about suspects in a spate of attacks on pro-life pregnancy resource centers.

“This group of local and federal law enforcement officers has worked, with the federal prosecutors, diligently and creatively to move the investigation forward,” U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O’Shea for the Western District of Wisconsin said, according to the DOJ summary. “This case is an example of the results law enforcement can achieve when local and federal law investigators work as a team.”

On that early morning in May, police arrived at the scene of the office to find what appeared to be exploded Molotov cocktails. Police observed one broken mason jar burned black sitting under a broken window, a lighter, and another mason jar filled with clear fluid that smelled like an accelerant, according to the DOJ report.

On the walls outside the center, the perpetrators left a threatening message: “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.” They drew a large “A” with a circle around it and the number “1312” on another wall. The Wisconsin center said it believed those responsible to be affiliated with a leftist anarchist group called Anarchy 1312.

Police collected DNA from the scene of the crime and a forensic biologist matched it to DNA recovered months later from leftover food Roychowdhury disposed of. Law enforcement arrested Roychowdhury at Boston Logan International Airport on Tuesday, before the accused was scheduled to depart for Guatemala City.

Roychowdhury will appear in U.S. District Court in Boston Tuesday and presumably federal court in Madison at a later date. If convicted, the suspect faces a mandatory minimum punishment of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison.

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