Vickery Creek Park Backpack Bomber Pleads Guilty
ATLANTA—Michael C. Sibley, who placed a backpack containing two pipe bombs at Vickery Creek Park in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, has pleaded guilty to a charge of conveying false and misleading information about a crime.
“In addition to breaking the law, threatening an act of terrorism is a serious matter that diverts scarce law enforcement resources away from legitimate threats and unnecessarily causes alarm,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “Sibley’s crime is even more troubling because he attempted to exploit stereotypical fears and prejudices.”
“The guilty plea of Mr. Sibley concludes an investigation that triggered a significant law enforcement response, to include that of numerous bomb technicians, to address the backpack that Mr. Sibley had left at a Roswell, Georgia park on November 4, 2014. This also resulted in a significant investigative effort to identify and locate the person later determined to be Mr. Sibley,” said J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office. “The FBI takes these types of call outs seriously and individuals that engage in this type of criminal conduct will be investigated and presented for federal prosecution. The FBI would like to thank the swift response and continued assistance of the Roswell Police Department and the Cobb County Police Department’s Bomb Squad in addressing this matter.”
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: On November 4, 2014, visitors at Vickery Creek Park, which is a part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Roswell, Georgia, discovered an abandoned backpack and contacted local law enforcement. An inspection of the bag revealed what appeared to be two completely constructed pipe bombs. Nails and screws were taped to the outside of the tubing consistent with construction designed for maximum fragmentation upon explosion. The pipe bombs also appeared to be ready for remote detonation. The devices, however, did not have a power source, which was required to remotely cause the explosion.
The name written on the abandoned backpack appeared to be a Middle Eastern name. The backpack also contained two books: “The Rape of Kuwait” and “The Holy Qur’an.”
On March 20, 2015, Mr. Sibley voluntarily contacted the FBI and asked to meet with the agents. During this meeting, he confessed to making the devices and to placing them in Vickery Creek Park. Mr. Sibley stated that he placed the bag with these devices, the books and other items in the park to “wake-up” people in the United States. He related that he believes the Mexican border is poorly defended and that many people are entering this country illegally. He also said that he made the explosive devices and placed them in the park to make people realize that if this can happen in Roswell, Georgia, it can happen anywhere.
The sentencing for Michael C. Sibley, 67, of Marietta, Georgia, is scheduled for January 21, 2016.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Tracia M. King is prosecuting the case.