Montgomery resident Kyle Druckemiller indicted in pipe bomb case

May 2, 2013

A 19-year-old Montgomery County man was indicted Thursday on charges that he built a pair of pipe bombs.

Kyle G. Druckemiller of the Chevy Chase area made one of the devices out of fireworks materials and the other out of the heads of matches, according to charging documents.

There is no indication from court records that he was planning to harm anyone. But law enforcement officials said Thursday they were paying close attention to the case. “In light of the tragic events in Boston, we must be ever vigilant to protect our residents,” said Ramon Korionoff, a spokesman for the Montgomery state’s attorney’s office.

Druckemiller, who lives in an apartment building near Wisconsin Avenue, was being held Thursday on $500,000 bond at the Montgomery Correctional Facility.

His attorney, Luiz Simmons, said his client, at worst, became fascinated by the idea of going into a field and detonating a device. “You’re not dealing with a terrorist here. You’re dealing with basically an adolescent,” Simmons said. “In the current environment, one has to be vigilant. Also in this environment, you can’t confuse adolescence for terrorism.”

The investigation of Druckemiller began three weeks ago at the home of a woman Druckemiller was dating, according to an arrest affidavit written by county Fire and Rescue Service explosives investigators. The evening of April 12, the woman’s father, suspicious of Druckemiller, went into his daughter’s bedroom and looked through Druckemiller’s duffel bag, according the affidavit. The man found what appeared to be two pipe bombs and called police.

Explosives investigators were called to the scene. They found the pipe bombs as well as wires, alligator clips, a nine-volt battery, an electronic timer, a mechanical timer and an improvised detonator, according to the affidavit.

The investigators spoke to Druckemiller, who told them that he got idea of building pipe bombs from YouTube. Druckemiller went “to South Carolina in the fall of 2012 to purchase fireworks,” investigators wrote. “He used the energetic powder from the fireworks to fill a 6-inch pipe. While he was in South Carolina, he functioned the device. The explosion blew the caps off the pipe with pieces barely missing his head.”

Druckemiller told investigators that he used match heads to build the second device but didn’t detonate it because he had become afraid to do so. “The pipe bomb and bomb-making supplies have been in his duffel bag since then,” investigators wrote.

Simmons said his client had no intention of detonating the remaining device. “After the first one, he decided that was it,” Simmons said. “He really had absolutely no intention of doing anything except getting rid of it.”

In a biography that Druckemiller wrote for an online dating site, he said he liked to jump off cliffs, drive fast and, occasionally, shoot guns. “I’m all about getting an adrenaline rush,” he wrote on the site, adding, “One thing I firmly believe is that we are all just people here in this world. I would do anything for someone. I always help people as best as I can.”

In Druckemiller’s Twitter account, he uses the name “Fuhrer Druckemiller.” His more than 2,000 tweets cover an array of subjects and don’t appear to advocate violence toward any groups of people. He also sent a tweet suggesting that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were “rigged.”

Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.

Post staff writer Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County, Md.
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