Letter claims responsibility for bombings, threatens further violence

2013-09-10T14:32:00Z 2013-11-05T10:10:32Z Letter claims responsibility for bombings, threatens further violenceBy Thomas Moriarty, The World Coos Bay World
September 10, 2013 2:32 pm  • 

COOS BAY — A letter from a group claiming responsibility for planting explosives in Coos Bay recently was received by city officials Tuesday, but its authenticity is in question.

The group, calling itself Veterans United for Non-religious Memorials, demands that the city remove the cross atop the Mingus Park Vietnam War Memorial and threatens more mayhem if the demand is ignored.

“Apparently you are not receiving our message about the Mingus Park Veterans Memorial,” the letter reads. “We gave you warnings with the minor explosive devices at the memorial and at the Bay Area House of Prayer."

“From now forward, we hold each of you personally responsible for causing deeper grief and insult to the families and friends of non-Christian Veterans."

“If the City does not now comply with prompt removal of the cross, we will take increased action against you, your staff, religious leaders and faith based structures.”

The unsigned letter was dated Sept. 6, and postmarked Sept. 9. Its envelope bore the return address of P.O. Box 137, Coos Bay — the mailing address for The Prayer Chapel in downtown Coos Bay where an explosive device was discovered last week.

Coos Bay Police Chief Gary McCullough said FBI and Oregon State Police crime labs are still processing evidence collected from the chapel and from the Aug. 22 bombing at the Mingus Park memorial.

The letter listed its recipients as all seven members of the city council including Mayor Crystal Shoji and city manager Roger Craddock.

The letter was also copied to The World’s newsroom.

Reporter Thomas Moriarty can be received at 541-269-1222, ext. 240, or by email at thomas.moriarty@theworldlink.com. Follow him on Twitter: @ThomasDMoriarty.

Copyright 2015 Coos Bay World. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(25) Comments

  1. Theory and Fact
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    Theory and Fact - September 16, 2013 8:07 pm
    These cowards have also threatened public officials and promised to set larger bombs. This story deserves coverage so that these terrorists are taken off the street. This is a big public safety issue and the violence has escalated!
  2. Theory and Fact
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    Theory and Fact - September 16, 2013 8:03 pm
    It's only a matter of time before someone is severely injured or killed by those kinds of actions and the perpetrator or perpetrators are too cowardly to turn themselves in, standing up in front of the public to really identify their cause and beliefs. Not one person or group has been assigned guilt for these acts by any law enforcement official, but these criminals should be off the street. If anyone knows anything please contact the FBI or OSP...
  3. Theory and Fact
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    Theory and Fact - September 16, 2013 7:55 pm
    Eleven bombs have been retrieved from various Coos Bay locations and another bomb was located by the Couquille courthouse. That's twelve bombs in the past five years. This isn't something to be dismissed and the perpetrator or perpetrators should be caught. They have left bombs on public streets, in a Safeway parking lot, on the North Spit, exploded a bomb not far from a children's playground, then set fire to and planted a bomb in a chapel.
  4. JasonB
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    JasonB - September 16, 2013 12:16 am
    The authenticity of the letter is somewhat irrelevant, If people want to be cowards and hide behind anonymous letters, then they deserve full punishment for the crime. Were they involved? Who knows. If not, then they should be considered accessories after the fact and treated just the same. As it is, I would love to see any of these cowards stand up. I would be willing to discuss their beliefs face to face.

    Feel free to respond if you are a part of this. I would love to engage you.
  5. BandonWind
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    BandonWind - September 15, 2013 11:05 pm
    If the World would just not run this story then the perps wouldn't get the publicity they seek. Put it on the back page of the newspaper and don't take up too much room. Maybe 2 inches by 2 inches. I notice some posters take up a lot of letter space. Just trying to shove their opinions down our collective throats over and over until we get it? Or gag on it.
  6. Theory and Fact
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    Theory and Fact - September 14, 2013 10:52 am
    Coos City and County officials could convert this small piece of property to a heritage site with a soldier-First Responder statue, commemorating the fallen and as the sacrifices made by our current military and civilian personnel who risk their lives both here and on foreign soil every day. The iconic faceless statues would not show a particular ethnicity, race, religion, or gender. A bronze plaque below would convey the universal meaning: To Our Heroes. We Will Not Forget Your Sacrifice for us
  7. karen1211
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    karen1211 - September 12, 2013 6:21 pm
    The person or persons are cowards. They need to come forward and identify theirselves. otherwise shut the hell up.
  8. JasonB
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    JasonB - September 11, 2013 8:55 pm
    Don't pretend that a crime against a Christian organization will be prosecuted as a hate crime. Christians are not protected under those laws, even if they are supposed to be.

    Also, they offer no reason why the letter's authenticity is in doubt. So, we are just thrown a bone with no explanation , and you give them a thumbs up. It would seem there is a bias in your speech.
  9. JasonB
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    JasonB - September 11, 2013 8:51 pm
    Are we to blame the sins of the world, the bloodshed of greed and lust, the mess that humanity has made of things on Christianity? Place the blame where it belongs, on those that abuse and twist people's faith, not on Christianity as a whole. Tell me, how many more people have died in the name of Christ when compared to those that have died in the name of greed, lust, envy, any of that?

    People need to be responsible for their own actions, not the faith they proclaim.
  10. bes
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    bes - September 11, 2013 5:50 pm
    Suggestion, this is very controversial and sensitive subject material, a possible solution might be for the city to remove itself from the situation by donating a very small slice of property to the veterans administration for the purpose of displaying a memorial, cross or some other symbols honoring all who have fallen for freedom. This way the city avoids an adverse position, and the vets can handle their own memorials as they are more suited to do and in the fashion they choose. Win Win.
  11. Theory and Fact
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    Theory and Fact - September 11, 2013 3:48 pm
    The perpetrator or perpetrator's identification, arrest, indictment and guilt or innocence as determined from the evidence presented in a court of law hasn't taken place. Not one law enforcement official has ascribed blame to any person or group. Until the perpetrator or perpetrator's conviction all assumptions ascribing blame are just empty speeches.
  12. Jackson69
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    Jackson69 - September 11, 2013 12:07 pm
    Excellent reply, could not have said it better myself-good job!!!!!
  13. Retread
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    Retread - September 11, 2013 11:10 am
    Throwing a little tempter tantrum because they can't get their own way, disrespect for The Fallen, disrespect for our veterans, disrespect for the law, disrespect for the community, threatening bodily harm to our citizens and to our institutions - not to mention too stupid to recognize the difference between a religious symbol and a memorial. It seems to me that these atheists could have benefitted greatly from a few days in Sunday School.
  14. TEP
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    TEP - September 11, 2013 10:18 am
    The only link between the 12 bombs in the last 5 years is the desire for the bomber to spread fear in the community. This isn't some crusade they're on to remove crosses from memorials. The bomber is nothing more than a terrorist, and it's highly doubtful he wrote the letter. Whoever wrote the letter is trying to stir up hate, dissent and fear, and they are terrorists as well. We need to arrest these people and prosecute them to the full extent of the law as soon as possible.
  15. Theory and Fact
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    Theory and Fact - September 11, 2013 5:46 am
    Blaming a particular person or group for these acts in a public forum such as this is just inflammatory, not based upon fact. At this point there is no indication about the perpetrator or perpetrators who committed these crimes. However it is fair to say this person or group is willing to threaten the lives of public officials, commit arson, plant bombs, disrupt and threaten public and private commerce, as well as government and cause injury to the public at large. Wait for the facts!
  16. Theory and Fact
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    Theory and Fact - September 11, 2013 5:30 am
    The threat to public safety is the overriding concern! The truth is, as the World points out, the name of the group claiming responsibility for these acts, in this letter, is in doubt. It is the investigation by the FBI, OSP and the Coos Bay police which has the best chance of identifying the perpetrators. If anyone knows anything, even a rumor, they should contact the FBI or OSP.
  17. Theory and Fact
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    Theory and Fact - September 11, 2013 5:18 am
    Honeybee44 you're spot on. And since 2009 there have been eleven IEDs recovered by the bomb squad in Coos Bay, a twelfth by the courthouse in Couquille. A big thanks to the City's First Responders and those people of Coos Bay who contacted the authorities with information about them. This is quite serious. It's a lot of bombs for a small or large city in our country.
  18. huneybee44
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    huneybee44 - September 10, 2013 7:41 pm
    These people are nuts, there are so many innocent people living close to Mingus Park that could be hurt. they need to get a grip on reality..leave the cross alone, don't like it, don't look at it, don't drive past the park..move away for good!
  19. Theory and Fact
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    Theory and Fact - September 10, 2013 6:38 pm
    The letter's author or authors show a limited understanding of the federal government's protocol in response to hate crimes, threats against public officials, bombings and arson and declarations of more violence to come. It suggests person or persons who are acting irrationally and without conscience. Also a big thumbs up to the World for revealing that the letter's authenticity is in doubt. Anyone with information about these perpetrators should contact the FBI, OSP or Coos Bay police now!
  20. Stephanie
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    Stephanie - September 10, 2013 6:03 pm
    The idiots who sent the letters are cowards. Do they know what they have done? They have officially made a threat to the City of, citizens, and property of Coos Bay..all carry Felony convictions! Are they willing to go to prison all because they don't like a cross that's been in the same park for more years then they have been ALIVE? Each explosive found, each threat, finds them that much closer to life in prison or the death penalty if anyone palls prey to their carried out threats. Stupid.
  21. Eastside 2
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    Eastside 2 - September 10, 2013 5:48 pm
    So now they are threating freely elected City Officials. How many people are they willing to hurt over this. Everyone has rights, and they do not have the right to put the public in danger.
    I am looking forward to seeing
    an arrest of there terrorists.
    Report Abuse
    DR PREPPER - September 10, 2013 5:31 pm
  23. locally vocally
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    locally vocally - September 10, 2013 5:13 pm
    Dang!.... I get the concern.God is Love?
    I find it tragic that "the church" or religion in general has been at the center of many conflicts world-wide, this has created an us against them sort of mind-set. Because of the intolerance shown by the church to those who don't believe in the tenets of the Bible Christians are reaping what they have sowed.
    Intolerance begets intolerance!
    Love and acceptance begets love and acceptance.
    Religious freedom means freedom from religion too!
  24. Kevin Dubisar
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    Kevin Dubisar - September 10, 2013 4:47 pm
    I think that this letter is junk. No way in hell would a veteran of the US military write this. So what kind of person wrote this? Someone looking for 5 minutes of attention.
  25. Don Ross
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    Don Ross - September 10, 2013 4:17 pm
    Go put on your white robes and hoods you cowards
    Don Ross
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