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Homemade explosive device reportedly caused blast next to Santa Monica synagogue; police seek suspect

April 8, 2011 |  5:48 pm

Santa Monica explosion

Law enforcement officials believe that an explosion outside a Jewish organization in Santa Monica on Thursday -- first believed to be some type of gas blast -- was actually a homemade explosive device purposely placed there, according to sources.

Santa Monica police Friday issued an alert to other law enforcement agencies, saying there was a specific man who detectives want to talk to in connection with the case. They said the man frequents synagogues and Jewish community centers and should be considered "extremely dangerous."

Law enforcement sources told The Times the explosive device contained gun powder and concrete.

The blast sent a 300-pound metal pipe encased in concrete hurtling through the air and crashing through the roof of a home next door to the Chabad House synagogue. On Thursday, police had said they believed it was a freak industrial accident.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Santa Monica firefighters remove a 300-pound metal pipe encased in concrete from the roof of a home after it was catapulted into the air from a plastic bin containing construction debris.

Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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