MINNEAPOLIS - The FBI says a potential terror attack that it believes was disrupted by a mobile home raid was in its "planning stages" and the target was believed to be in western Minnesota.
Buford 'Bucky' Rogers was arrested Friday after a search of the 24-year-old's Montevideo trailer turned up Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs and firearms.
One of the guns was reportedly a Romanian assault rifle, which Rogers is prohibited from owning as he is a convicted felon.
FBI spokesman Kyle Loven wouldn't elaborate Monday about the nature or target of the alleged plot, but says authorities believe there "would have been a localized terror attack, and that's why law enforcement moved quickly."
The FBI says it believes authorities potentially saved the lives of several local residents. The investigation is ongoing.
A law enforcement official told CNN Senior Producer Carol Cratty
that the suspect in the case has anti-government views and catagorizes it as a domestic terrorism investigation. The official said this doesn't involve al Qaeda or any other international terrorist group.
Jeffrey Rogers, Buford's father, describes his family as preppers who are getting ready for a doomsday scenario.
"There has not been a threat out of this house towards a politician or any place," Jeffrey Rogers said. "We're not like that. We're militia. We're for the people."
Jeffrey Rogers said the nation is being rotted over by government. He said he did nothing wrong.
"He's a patriot. He's a true patriot. Do you want to see your government turned over to China, Russia, whatever?We don't. We want to keep our country our country."
Rogers is charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. It's not clear if he has an attorney.
In a news release Monday, the FBI said it believes "the lives of several local residents were potentially saved" by the search and arrest. The agency said the terror plot was discovered through analysis of intelligence gathered by local, state and federal authorities. The statement doesn't offer further details about the extent or manner of the alleged plot.
"Cooperation between the FBI and its federal, state, and local partners enabled law enforcement to prevent a potential tragedy in Montevideo," Christopher Warrener, the special agent in charge of the FBI office in Minneapolis, said in Monday's release.
According to a federal affidavit obtained by The Associated Press on Friday, FBI agents from the domestic terrorism squad searched the property at the mobile home park in Montevideo and discovered the Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs and firearms. The affidavit said Buford was there at the time of the search, and one firearm recovered from Buford's residence was a Romanian AKM assault rifle.
In an interview with authorities, Rogers admitted firing the weapon on two separate occasions at a gun range in Granite Falls, the affidavit said.
Neighbors told KARE 11 they would see Buford with his family outside of their home practicing combat scenarios.
"They practiced them,different little maneauvers," said Dustin Rathbun. "They'd be outside and they had a board up against trees and were throwing knives at it."
Rathburn says he heard a number of explosions in the distance on Friday, which authorities confirm were homemade bombs that were seized.
"The biggest danger in this situation was to the law enforcement personell," said Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher. "The city remains safe, and was going to be safe."
Rogers is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court this week. His parents told KARE 11 they believe their son was framed.
Rogers has a past conviction for felony burglary and is not allowed to have a firearm. His2011 felony burglary conviction stems from an incident in Lac qui Parle County. He also has a 2009 misdemeanor conviction for dangerous handling of a weapon in Hennepin County, as well as other criminal violations, according to online court records.