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Explosive device is thrown onto porch of the Satanic Temple in Salem, Massachusetts, spurring federal and local probe

By Zenebou Sylla, CNN

(CNN) — Police and an FBI joint terrorism task force are investigating after an explosive device was thrown onto the porch of The Satanic Temple in Salem, Massachusetts, early Monday, authorities said.

No one was in the building when the explosive was thrown just after 4 a.m., but staff arrived in the afternoon to find the device and discover the building had been damaged, Salem police said in a news release.

State police bomb technicians cleared the device and explosives detection dogs swept the area for any other devices, police said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also assisted. Details about the damage weren’t immediately released.

The Satanic Temple said it was unable to comment due to the ongoing investigation by the Salem Police Department and the FBI, according to a statement posted Tuesday on Facebook.

“We appreciate their efforts and the outpouring of comfort and compassion from the entire Salem community. We are profoundly grateful for the many kind words and messages of support we have received.”

CNN has sought comment from members of The Satanic Temple and has also contacted Salem police and the FBI for more information.

The Satanic Temple claims to be the only federally recognized international nontheistic religious Satanic organization. Its Salem headquarters are located in a former funeral parlor, where it maintains an art gallery with a permanent exhibit on Satanism, witch hunts and moral panic, its website says. Members also perform ceremonial events and hold meetings and lectures in the space.

Salem police have previously responded to bomb threats and possible hate crimes at the temple, including a June 2022 incident during which a man was arrested on suspicion of arson, they said.

Earlier this year, a Michigan man also was arrested and charged in his state with planning to bomb the temple, according to the Salem police news release.

Salem police detectives have worked with temple staff to investigate the prior incidents, the release said.

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