Two notes came in over the weekend asking about what appeared to be an FBI SWAT team raid early Friday at a home on Genesee Hill. We have finally confirmed what that was about. It’s a case you might already have seen in regional/national media, though the stories published so far did not mention the “Seattle” arrest was in West Seattle. Agents arrested a suspect, 40-year-old Arkansas resident Mark Krause, who was visiting someone here who by all accounts has no tie to the case. Krause is accused of placing a homemade explosive device six months ago at a church in Osage, Arkansas, that was serving as a polling place (which is why this is a federal case). The device was inside a soda can, and that’s what several people thought it was when they picked it up at the church and moved it around in subsequent hours until someone noticed it had wiring.
Court documents say an FBI explosives expert believes it could have killed someone. It contained batteries and birdshot meant to function as shrapnel if it had exploded. The FBI says it was traced when similar components — as well as printed material related to bombmaking and “militia extremism” — were found inside an Arkansas home formerly owned by Krause and being cleaned after foreclosure. The FBI subsequently found out that because of money trouble, he “had been traveling around and spending time visiting family and/or friends,” but had been home in Arkansas at the time the explosive device was found.
According to Seattle FBI Special Agent Frederick Gutt, they traced him to West Seattle through “personal social correspondence,” discovered his car at the Genesee Hill house, “conducted surveillance,” then sent a SWAT team Friday morning to arrest him – not because anything dangerous was happening there, but because Krause was known to have a concealed-weapons permit, so the SWAT team was precautionary. The people he was apparently visiting are not connected to the case in any way, say authorities; neither they nor their address are mentioned in the court documents. After a hearing here later on Friday, Krause was to be sent back to Arkansas to answer the charges.