October 10, 2009

Fox News' Trace Gallagher got all excited Thursday reporting some news out of California:

Gallagher: We're told that a man has been injured in an explosion. Reportedly he injured his hand. Now here's the key: You'd think a guy injuring his hand in an explosion -- this is in Lake Elsinore, which is about 45 miles northeast of San Diego -- the man apparently was handling explosives including, ah, triacetone triperoxide. The FBI is now involved in this. This is the same type of explosive that Najibulah Zazi is accused of trying to build. It is highly unstable and highly powerful. And remember those chemicals that Najibulah Zazi is accused of having? They're still missing. So now in San Diego, or just north of San Diego, someone blows up his hand, using similar chemicals in a powerful, highly unstable bomb. The FBI is now on it. We'll bring you more information on that as it comes in here to the Live Desk. This could be key.

Yep, they were hoping it would be part of their favorite new storyline about radical Islamists hiding out in American suburbs and preparing to strike with a fresh round of terrorist acts.

But then the next day, Jane Skinner had the follow-up on Happening Now: It had nothing to do with Najibullah Zazi or his terrorist cells. This was a project undertaken by a young white man, working out of the garage of his mother's place there in Lake Elsinore.

Oh, and his mother's place was a licensed day-care facility. So while Mom was taking care of a houseful of kids, Junior was in the garage whipping up a fresh batch of bombs. From the L.A. Times:

Benjamin Kuzelka allegedly was making an explosive device when it accidentally detonated about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, deputies said. He suffered an injury to one hand. About 20 minutes later, deputies said, he showed up at a local hospital saying that he had accidentally shot himself with a gun.

"His injuries were inconsistent with a gunshot wound and doctors called the police," said Deputy Melissa Nieburger, a Sheriff's Department spokeswoman.

Deputies went to the Kuzelka home on a cul-de-sac in the 30500 block of Audelo Street. Property records list Rebecca Kuzelka as the sole owner of the house, which was built in 1983.

Inside the home, Nieburger said, deputies found materials used to make explosives, as well as a sophisticated indoor marijuana growing room.

Authorities did not say how many marijuana plants allegedly were found in the home or disclose the type of explosive materials that were uncovered. A law enforcement source told The Times that substances found at the home were similar to acetone peroxide, or TATP, the same type of powerful explosive used in the 2007 London subway terrorist bombings. There was no evidence that the Lake Elsinore incident was related to terrorism, the source said.

Nieburger said deputies had not determined how many children Rebecca Kuzelka cared for at her home. No children were present at the time of the explosion, authorities said.

And that wasn't all. According to a couple of local reports:

Nazi paraphenalia was also found inside the home.

Everyone's mum about the possibility that the explosives were connected to terrorist activity. But with that kind of background and given the nature of TATP manufacture -- it tends to be a project only for people serious about blowing things up -- that shouldn't be ruled out.

All of which puts some perspective on Gallagher's speculation of the day before. Yes, it was connected to terrorism -- just not the kind of terrorism he was thinking about.

Which likewise underscores the nature of the terrorist beast: He's not always a brown-skinned guy from another country. Sometimes he's the strange right-wing white family that lives next door. But then, Fox never concerns itself with that kind of terrorism.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.