The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Washington Bomb-Maker Who Tried to Help Jihadists Pleads Guilty

By Bill Morlin on September 26, 2012 - 10:26 am, Posted in Domestic Terrorism, Extremist Crime, Muslim Extremism

A terrorist sympathizer, a college dropout who idolized both American terrorist Timothy McVeigh and Islamic jihadists while learning the hard way how to build bombs, likely faces a lengthy prison sentence after confessing to two terrorism-related crimes.

Joseph Jefferey Brice, 22, who nearly died when one of his eight-pound homemade bombs exploded in April 2010, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Spokane to illegally making the device and later providing bomb-making instructions online to potential foreign terrorists.

The latter charge of providing material support to terrorists reached the attention of senior Justice Department officials because of its national security implications, according to U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby, who declined further comment on the case.

Brice faces up to 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced on Jan. 9 by U.S. District Judge Lonny Suko.

Brice used the Internet to help foreign terrorists learn bomb-making techniques, knowing that such training would lead to the use, attempted use or threatened use of a weapon of mass destruction, Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell Smoot said in court filings.

The prosecutor described Brice as an intelligent young man with an “insatiable interest” in building and blowing up bombs, who used social media for discussions about using improvised explosive devices to bomb the U.S. Courthouse in Spokane or as diversions for bank robberies.

Brice also posted six YouTube “Strength of Allah” videos in 2010 and 2011, using an Al Qaeda in Iraq logo and “glorifying Jihad and the use of explosives,” and even continued those discussions after being contacted by FBI agents, the documents say.

All that came after Brice, who graduated from high school in Clarkston, Wash., nearly died on April 18, 2010, when the “apan” (acetone peroxide ammonium nitrate) bomb he built prematurely exploded when he lit the fuse and didn’t run away fast enough in eastern Washington’s rural Whitman County.

That occurred one day before the anniversary of the antigovernment terrorist act carried out by his role model, Timothy McVeigh, who murdered 168 people with a truck bomb he detonated outside the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.

The court documents say Brice not only emulated and claimed that he looked like McVeigh but also shared his antigovernment views and downloaded The Turner Diaries, a novel by William Pierce that was a blueprint for the Oklahoma City bombing.

Then, the court documents say, Brice ordered one of his bomb-making components – tannerite – on the Internet. The chemical is unregulated and can be legally possessed as a shock-sensitive explosive detonated with firearms.

Brice used it to make a bomb that exploded with such force that it blew off his shirt and pants, broke bones, severely damaged and burned his legs, and left him unconscious for 12 days in a Seattle burn hospital.His girlfriend watched in amazement, uninjured, but wasn’t initially truthful with investigators, the documents say.

When Brice recovered four months later, a Whitman County sheriff’s deputy who investigated the blast decided not to recommend the filing of state charges because he believed, after a phone interview, that the young man “had learned his lesson the hard way.” Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives also initially concluded the explosion was caused by a malfunction with tannerite, even though Brice didn’t have a firearm with him to ignite the explosive, the court documents say.

However, the FBI’s Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force had received tips about Brice’s interest in bomb-building and those leads were actively pursued after, in an unrelated incident, an unexploded backpack bomb was found on Jan. 17, 2011, in Spokane along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.

The documents say Brice was ruled out as a suspect in the MLK bomb and had no known connection with Kevin W. Harpham, a neo-Nazi who ultimately confessed to building and planting that device. Harpham was sentenced to 37 years in prison.

Meanwhile, the FBI’s interest in Brice heightened when agents learned that the explosion that nearly killed him didn’t end his interest and promotion of bomb-building techniques. “Since his near-fatal incident,” court documents say, “Brice, a self-declared, conservative, right-wing Christian, appeared to undergo a rapid radicalization to Islam.”

As the investigation progressed, FBI agents reviewed Brice’s online activity and telephone records. He was arrested on May 9, 2011.

The investigation turned up thousands of documents, including videos – some encrypted – of everything from a “Times Square Bomb Test” to Chechen extremists destroying Russian military equipment to the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers when Brice was 11.

When Brice was questioned by a terrorism task force agent in March 2011, two months after the Spokane bomb was discovered and safely defused, he confessed to building the destructive device that caused his injuries the previous year. The court documents also say he bragged about “his own expertise in explosives, destructive devices, weapons of mass destruction” and suicide bombs.

Even after being questioned by FBI agents and finding a GPS-tracking device that apparently had been secretly placed on his vehicle, Brice continued posting pro-jihad, anti-Western comments on public and private websites.

In early May 2011, using the screen name Yusuf90, Brice met a fellow jihadist named “Abu Harith” on the password-protected Deen Al Haq website. That introduction led to E-mail exchanges, and eventually Brice sent along detailed instructions for “open source” bomb-making, the documents say.

When he was arrested, Brice confessed to his involvement during a four-hour interview where he learned that Abu Harith really was an undercover FBI employee.

Still, the documents say, Brice tried to laugh it all off:  “It’s going to look like I’m a fucking Muslim terrorist, but I was just fucking with these guys. I was just toying with them. I drink beer, I drink beer every day. I do. I do everything opposite of whatever it looks like. I was just fucking with them. There’s a guy, this is going to look so bad!”

  • Kiwiwriter

    I’m saddened that Ezra/Jason/Annie didn’t take our information and put it on his web page. I really wanted to see what he was going to do with it.

    He and Bungalow Boob should get together. I miss him!

  • aadila

    Aron, I have no doubt the Romney robo-calls will catch up to Joseph before we do.

  • Erika

    Reynardine, i have previously said i’m a sort of genuine Georgia Peach :)

    and ezra, look at my answer 12 – that is what white privilege looks like.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Well, I sent up a biography of answers to Ezra/Annie/Jason’s questions, and the moderators shot them down, because the biography I posted was that of a well-known Nazi leader of World War II. Oh, well, such is life.

    So, Ezra/Annie/Jason…we’ve given you some biographies, how about you pop tall and put up that web page with your worldview and those “profiles” you wanted?

    Nobody’s stopping you. The First Amendment applies to you like it does to everyone else.

  • Aron

    I too will add my name to the list of those concerned for Joseph.

    Now all we need to do is call up every middle-aged black man named Joseph in the metro Houston area. It shouldn’t be too difficult or time consuming.

  • aadila

    I am worried about Friar Joseph too. Where might he be?

  • aadila

    “True happiness comes from within,”

    So true, Sam. So true…

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Well we’ve done our part. Now it’s time for Ezra/Jason/Annie/Adolf to post a link to their blog.

  • Erika

    Peach velour doesn’t require a special occassion :)

  • CM

    Jason/Ezra/Ann(ie)/Zang Hong:

    If you’re going to pretend to do social science, you could at least pretend to do it right. You left out a question on your “survey”:

    15. Religious affiliation

    More to the point, I’m guessing (and I have to guess, because you refuse to make yourself clear) that the point of your questionnaire is to suggest that by calling attention to your multiple identities, we’re mounting an argumentum ad hominem (or ad feminam, as the case may be).

    This is not the case, of course. What I (we) have been pointing out is that the things you say are stupid, and saying the same stupid things under different identities doesn’t make them any less stupid, it just makes them more dishonest, and makes you more of a troll.

  • Reynardine

    Somehow, I can feature Erika appearing on Allantide as a peach tree, but, aside from the use of peach velour, I will not endeavour to anticipate details.

    Erika, if you have too many Sharkies for a charm bracelet, try a necklace, or even a belt. Probably not with peach velour, though. Enjoy your latest, well-earned Sharkie.

  • Reynardine

    This weekend, in honor of Ruslan’s early Allantide appearance as The Great (Big) Khan, we will present him with a suitable memorial to said greatness: a glass case containing his very own Size 33 bronzed baby shoes.

  • Reynardine

    Aron, by his own description, Ruslan is not merely the Great Khan, but the Great Big Khan, and for all their sakes, I hope not only his horses, but his women, are of commensurate stature. God pity them if they are not.

    Erika, I somehow expect your Allantide costume to be made out of peach velour.

    Annie/Ezra/whatnot will need no change of costume to appear as a pile of sawdust.

  • Jane Schiff


    1.) Are you a home owner or do you rent – My strawwoman owns a home and rents it from the government. Haven’t been able to afford a solicitor or a barrister to figure it out for sure.

    2.) Age – find a religious reason for cancellation. Reincarnation is a great reason. The soul is not born when the body is… It existed before and will exist after we pass on. Internet search for a reincarnation quote from a Zen Buddhist/Daoist master and print it out with a statement like “I am canceling my birth certificate because my soul existed before I was born” Here’s my proof:

    3.) Weight – If you weigh me in stones, I’ll pound you.

    4.) Height – 5′ 1″, 5′ 3″, 5′ 5″, 5′ 7″

    5.) Ethnicity – Yes

    6.) Sexual orientation – hetero

    7.) Annual income – Ezra, I’ll tell you if you’ll tell me.

    8.) Occupation – First silly question – see question 14

    9.) Level of education – Second silly question – See question 14

    10.) marital status – yes

    11.) Amount of debt – Ezra, I’ll tell you if you’ll tell me.

    12.) Arrest history – none

    13.) Net worth – I’ll tell you if you’ll tell me.

    14.) Provide complete resume for the past 10 years – Rhetorical question due to silly questions 8 and 9.

  • Reynardine

    You know, we have not heard from Brother Joseph in a while.

    Coral Sea, what are you planning to be this Allantide? I’m betting Boudicca.

  • Reynardine

    Ezra-Sawdust has done us one useful service with his cretinous questionnaire. He is inspiring us to put on our Halloween costumes early. (Did you know that apple-bobbing is from the Cornish Allantide? Allans were some kind of big apples, similar to Rome Beauties, with which they celebrated Halloween/Samhain in Cornwall). Anyhow, in advance, happy Allantide. Time to start some hard cider.

  • Erika

    Why not?

    1) i think to be technical the mortgage company just allows me to live there
    2) frequently told “you look too young to be an attorney.”
    3) you should know better than to ask this to a woman “Annie”
    4) taller than my sister to her great annoyance and isn’t that all that really counts? :)
    5) a beautiful mix of northwestern European and unknown, but see 12
    6) let’s just say i absolutely adored going to law school and even enjoyed taking the bar exam so it should be obvious ;)
    7) let’s just say if you know anyone considering going to law school for the money, strongly advise them against it.
    8) isn’t it kind of obvious by now?
    9) prestigious and very expensive.
    10) for you, it doesn’t matter because i only like smart people so you don’t have a chance :P
    11) See 1 and 9.
    12) Number of times arrested: 0. Number of times i definitely should have been arrested but wasn’t: at least 3 or 4. Number of other times i could have been arrested: at least a dozen. i was a very bad girl as a teenager who should have been taken in handcuffs to juvenile dentention more than once, so i realize that i was extremely lucky to be an upper middle class white girl. Anyone who thinks that school disciplinary systems and the criminal justice system don’t discriminate by race, class, and gender is a total idiot :P
    13) i’ve been told that my intelligence, beauty, and love are priceless
    14) Please tell me you are joking.

  • Sam Molloy

    Aadila, to paraphrase Miss Cotton near the end of the movie Pink Flamingos, “Finding a positive outlet for your energy merely relieves tension. True happiness comes from within,”

  • Aron

    Ruslan, O Great Khan, you have truly made me laugh this night.

  • Reynardine

    Double post. First one sent before complete.

  • Kiwiwriter

    I’m shocked. Shocked to my foundation. Given the fact that I am constantly here to taunt and berate Annie/Jason Smith/Ezra Mead on a regular basis, I cannot believe that he did not ask ME for my vital information, including my arrest record. I am truly saddened…I have repeatedly demanded of this multi-sexual individual that he share with his proofs and massive Aryan intelligence, and he ignores me every time. I cannot believe this massive act of disrespect by this…this…time honor’d gentleman!

    Well, I’ll tell you Annie/Jason/Ezra, I think that you should at least have the common decency to post the internet link where you are going to assemble the information for these profiles, and I heartily agree with my colleagues that you should give us the answers for all THREE of your identities to all of these important questions. Furthermore, I am most interested in YOUR arrest record, net worth, education level, and sexual orientation. Given that you’re both sexes, I think that question is of the utmost importance to this discourse.

    I have two other questions for Annie/Jason/Ezra:

    1. How, precisely, are we supposed to provide you with our resumes, when you didn’t give us an e-mail link and mailing address to which to send them?

    2. Did you really think that anybody was going to give you even a remotely serious answer to your idiotic request?

    Annie/Jason/Ezra lives in a nice little house, right next to reality.

    I gotta tell you, though, this is a lot funnier than Bungalow Boob…he hasn’t shown up lately. I miss him.

    Anyway, here’s my stock response to Annie/Jason/Ezra, just so that I can be “as constant as the Northern Star:”

    Annie/Jason Smith/Ezra Mead is back again!

    Complete with revolving sex changes…here strictly to derail the discussion!

    So, Annie/Jason/Ezra Mead…do tell us how the Holocaust never happened!

    Then tell us how the Russian people greeted their Nazi invaders with flowers!

    Then tell us how Norman Rockwell sided with Hitler!

    Then show us your proof that the white man is superior to the black man!

    And tell us again how you’ll prove it to us, only if we pay you vast sums of money, showing that you’re into neo-Nazism and junior Fascism for that noblest of purposes…the money!

    Then you can give us citations and evidence for all these wacky ideas!

    Until then, the tumbrels await for you!

    See? I don’t even have to think in dealing with him/her/it…I just cut-and-paste my own stuff!

  • Gregory

    Ruslan, what is best in life?

    Hilarious response to JasonAnnieEzra. I was just going to ignore the questionnaire until s/he explained one more time how black babies gestate differently than white babies.

  • Reynardine

    Well, according to wisdom passed on long ago, when faced with intransigent *holes, retreat east of the Danube and fire.

  • adamhill

    I have a serious question for Ezra. How do you reconcile the belief that blacks are intellectually inferior to whites when faced with the example of Barack Obama, who so plainly possesses an I.Q. well above the average?

  • Reynardine

    One of the commenters here has seen photographic evidence that my hut has chicken legs.

  • Reynardine

    Ruslan, I have no reason to doubt your word, but where did a man of your stature find a suitable mount?

  • Reynardine

    Okay, I’ll play.

    1. My hut has chicken legs. You can’t get in.
    2. Upper Paleolithic
    3. Still light enough to fly around in my mortar and pestle.
    4. Depends on how high I’m flying in same.
    5. The Ancient Ones.
    6. You think after all these years, I remember? Besides, they don’t make sky dragons any more.
    7. Whatever I conjure up.
    8. Which?
    9. Ancient and immeasurable wisdom.
    10. I outlived them all.
    11. I owe the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I will pay them all what they deserve.
    12. Tresspassing in a graveyard at midnight on Halloween.
    13. My worth is immeasurable, and immeasurably greater than yours.
    14. Performing radical proctectomies.

  • Zhen De Shou

    published ingest one container a day, Don??t?? attain some awkward. and so i ingest 2 a day, shock could be improved further up, I will need to go to powder room in general. But your result is good. I am quite sure still buy it up to is possible cease a good dependence on produce.

  • Reynardine

    All right, Ezra, I’ll play.

    1. Own hut with chicken legs. Just try and get in.
    2. Lower Paleolithic.
    3. Still light enough to fly around in my mortar and pestle.
    4. Depends on how high I’m flying in same.
    5. The Ancient Ones.
    6. You think at my age, I can even remember? Besides, skydragons are extinct.
    7. Whatever I conjure up.
    8. Which?
    9. Immeasurable experience and wisdom.

  • aadila

    So the propaganda posters are true! Ruslan is verily ten feet tall and can turn anyone into a pool of goat piss who stands in his way.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Oh I couldn’t resist this.

    1.) The steppe is my home, and the great sky father promised all of it to me. So I guess you could say I own. I actually live in a portable dwelling incorrectly known in the west as a ‘yurt.’
    2.) 370
    3.) 210kg
    4.) Looming
    5.) Whitey
    6.) Straight
    7.) 20,000 ducats per annum plus various cattle, jewels, etc.
    8.) Lord and master of all that I see.
    9.) Horseriding and archery lessons
    10.) Three wives, four concubines
    11.) 0. People are in debt to me.
    12.) Arrest history? Yeah, let someone try and arrest me and see what happens.
    13.) Measured in ducats, cattle, land? What are we talking about exactly?
    14.) 1700-Present
    Terrorize the steppe and civilization.

  • CM

    “Please answer the following questions because I want to build a profile on you.”

    You first, Ezra/Jason/Annie. And please provide a separate profile for each of your identities.

  • aadila

    Ezra, you have a strong sense of creativity. Pissing people off is creative, but destructive, and will not enhance your quality of life. Find a positive outlet for this energy. It will lead to happiness.

  • Aron

    Ezra, I’ll fill out your survey!

    1.) Are you a home owner or do you rent – None of your business.
    2.) Age – None of your business
    3.) Weight – None of your business
    4.) Height – None of your business
    5.) Ethnicity – None of your business
    6.) Sexual orientation – None of your business
    7.) Annual income – None of your business, but probably more than you
    8.) Occupation – None of your business
    9.) Level of education – None of your business, but probably higher than you
    10.) marital status – None of your business
    11.) Amount of debt – None of your business, but probably less than you
    12.) Arrest history – None of your business, but probably less than you
    13.) Net worth – None of your business, but almost certainly greater than you
    14.) Provide complete resume for the past 10 years – None of your business.

    Well I think that just about covered it!

    (I genuinely do not understand why Ezra’s comment was posted. Aside from causing derisive laughter. And even the laughter was pretty weak.)

  • afisher

    It continues to amaze me that some folks complain about news of prosecution by those who want to use terrorism via bombs, etc. in this country.
    I’m guessing that they don’t donate to SPLC, so why bother to rant, when prosecution, aka the legal system worked?
    It always make me wonder if they would be complain if they were the target and were injured or have their property destroyed by an explosion by one of these in-country bomb makers?

  • Ezra_mead

    Reynardine, Sam, Gregory, Ruslan, CM, Erica,

    Please answer the following questions because I want to build a profile on you.

    1.) Are you a home owner or do you rent
    2.) Age
    3.) Weight
    4.) Height
    5.) Ethnicity
    6.) Sexual orientation
    7.) Annual income
    8.) Occupation
    9.) Level of education
    10.) marital status
    11.) Amount of debt
    12.) Arrest history
    13.) Net worth
    14.) Provide complete resume for the past 10 years

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Bill Morlin,

    Great, Just what we needed. Brice really needs to suffer for this.

  • Erika

    Honestly, i’m surprised he managed to live long enough to get arrested. Explosives, beer, and stupidity are usually a lethal combination.

  • CM

    As for the actual topic of this post:

    ” I drink beer, I drink beer every day. I do. I do everything opposite of whatever it looks like.”

    Not exactly what one wants to hear from someone whose hobby is manufacturing explosives.

  • CM

    “Ezra” wrote:

    “The SPLC only publishes stories that match their worldview.”

    Sounds eerily familiar. Where have we seen this before?

    Jason Smith said,
    on January 26th, 2012 at 12:37 pm
    “Reading this website for a while, I’ve realized that what they do is they only present stories that ‘match’ their worldview and their narrative.”

    Ann in Ohio said,
    on March 15th, 2012 at 7:00 pm
    “I could just as easily find some extreme Communist group that matches my worldview and write a story on MY blog.”

    Jason said,
    on April 4th, 2012 at 12:42 pm
    “I suspect you will refuse to look at any facts that do not match your worldview.”

    Jason Smith said,
    on May 1st, 2012 at 11:06 pm
    “Mainstream media is very liberal. So another thing they do is screen out only those stories that match their world view.”

    Jason Smith said,
    on May 7th, 2012 at 12:33 pm
    “I could start a blog where I write only about stories that match my worldview, screen out the most extreme examples, and try to link them with anyone who is a liberal.”

    Repetition is key to selling the Big Lie.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    By all means Ezra, make your own blog. Or post some stories here that you think we should know about. You really think you’re the first one to come in here and claim that the SPLC only reports right-wing extremism? You think you’d be the first one I’d asked for stories about all the alleged left-wing extremists out there?

  • Gregory

    JasonAnnieEzra scrawls: “I could just as easily create a blog and print only stories that match my worldview.”

    Please, by all means, do just that. That would have to be easier that posting the same comments over and over and over again on different threads. It would also eliminate the need for you to change your name ever month or so, you contemptible maggot. Surely this would be your chance to demonstrate your clear intellectual superiority as a member of the master race.

  • Sam Molloy

    Ezra, the stories are real and covered nowhere else. I am confused as how a right wing “christian” can blow himself into a Jihadist, but perhaps he is merely psychotic. There are some smart folks on this site who may know if the president of Iran, Mr. Alphabetsoup, actually shares convictions against Capitalism with our Occupy movement or just likes to hear his own jibberish.

  • Reynardine

    Ezra, you used up too much sawdust on that spiel, when you should actually have saved it towards absorbing this excellent lesson on what happens to stupid people.

  • Ezra_mead

    This is stupid. The SPLC only publishes stories that match their worldview. Stories of the most extreme individuals. Then they try to link the story with their political opposition to create a false association.

    I could just as easily create a blog and print only stories that match my worldview. Then try to link my political opponents with the story to try to create a false association & paint them all as extremists.

    This is propaganda. Most people can see through it easily.

  • Reynardine