Incident Summary:

5/13/1970: Suspected members of the Black Panthers bombed the Des Moines Police Station in Iowa, United States. Two people were injured and the attack caused an estimated $200,000 in damages.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:


Des Moines

Location Details:
Against a wall near a transformer and fuel drums

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Police
Name of Entity Des Moines Police Department
Specific Description Des Moines Police Station
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage $200,000.00
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Dynamite/TNT
Weapon Details
Dynamite explosion
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information There was a bomb threat against the Des Moines Police Department a week earlier. On May 5th 1970, a large quantity of dynamite was stolen from Quick Supply, a dynamite supply warehouse in Ankeny Iowa. Police believed that the stolen dynamite was used by the Black Panthers in this attack as well as in four other incidents taking place in Iowa during May and June 1970 197005220003, 197006130001, 197006210001, and 197006290001).
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Black Panthers (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators Unknown
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 2 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 2
Number of U.S. Injured 2
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Committee on Government Operations United States Senate, "Riots, Civil, and Criminal Disorders," U.S. Government Printing Office, August 6, 1970.
Committee on Internal Security House of Representatives, "Black Panther Party, Part 4," U.S. Government Printing Office, October-November, 1970.
Christopher Hewitt, "Political Violence and Terrorism in Modern America: A Chronology," Praeger Security International, 2005.