Man convicted of attempting to set fire to a Jewish-sponsored senior home – The Jerusalem Post

John Rathbun, 37, was convicted of attempting to transport or receive explosive devices in interstate with the knowledge or intent that the device will be used to kill following a week-long trial.

the Charles River in front of the skyline of Boston (photo credit: BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)

the Charles River in front of the skyline of Boston

(photo credit: BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)

A Massachusetts man was convicted of using a homemade bomb to try and set fire to a Jewish-sponsored assisted living facility April 2, 2020, according to federal prosecutors. 

John Rathbun, 37, was convicted of attempting to transport or receive explosive devices in interstate with the knowledge or intent that the device will be used to kill following a week-long trial. 

Rathbun placed a 19-liter canister filled with gasoline outside the entrance of Ruth’s House, part of Jewish Geriatric Services Lifecare, Inc. A Christian religious pamphlet was used as a wick. 

According to authorities, Rathbun’s DNA was found on the canister and wick. 

A federal jury convinced Rathbun November 23, 2020 of making false statements to a federal agent, but deadlocked on the arson counts, prompting a re-trial. Rathbun falsely stated to a federal agent that he was home April 2 and not familiar with the location the device was placed.  

“The danger posed by John Rathbun in this case was very real. By trying to ignite a firebomb outside a Jewish assisted-living facility, he put the lives of innocent people at risk,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston FBI Field Office.

“Through the diligent efforts of our Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the jury’s hard work, the community is much safer now.”