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FBI Says It Prevented Terrorist Attack In Rural Minnesota

A photo provided by the Chippewa County, Minn., Sheriff shows Buford Rogers, who was arrested on Friday.
A photo provided by the Chippewa County, Minn., Sheriff shows Buford Rogers, who was arrested on Friday.

The FBI says Monday it foiled a terrorist attack in a small Minnesota town, but officials offered few details.

Buford Rogers, 24, made his first appearance Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, The Associated Press reports. Authorities arrested Rogers on Friday after a search of his mobile home turned up Molotov cocktails, as well as suspected pipe bombs and firearms, according to a court affidavit.

Reuters reports that an assault rifle, a Romanian model AK-M, was among the weapons recovered.

"The FBI believed there was a terror attack in its planning stages, and we believe there would have been a localized terror attack, and that's why law enforcement moved quickly to execute the search warrant on Friday to arrest Mr. Rogers," FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said Monday, according to the AP.

"The FBI believes that a terror attack was disrupted by law enforcement personnel and that the lives of several local residents were potentially saved," the FBI statement said.

The AP reports that Loven declined to elaborate on the specific location of the alleged target other than to say that it was believed to be in Montevideo, a city of about 5,000 people about 130 miles west of Minneapolis. He also would not say whether Rogers was acting alone or part of a group.

According to Reuters:

"Rogers was convicted of felony burglary in 2011 and admitted to firing the assault rifle twice recently at a gun range.

"As a convicted felon, Rogers could not legally possess a firearm that has been transported across state or international boundaries, the complaint said."

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Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.