Incident Summary:

11/02/1983: Richard Wayne Snell, William Thomas, and Steven Scott, all members of the Covenant, Sword, and Arm of the Lord (CSA), strapped twenty-three sticks of dynamite to a natural gas pipeline in Fulton, Arkansas, United States, at the point where the pipeline crossed the Red River between Mena and Texarkana. There were no casualties from the incident, and the dynamite dented the pipe but failed to rupture it. The perpetrators intent was to cut the gas flow so that people would freeze and start riots, which would ultimately achieve the group's goal of starting a holy war.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
Fulton, at the crossing of the Red River, between Mena and Texarkana, Arkansas

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Utilities
Name of Entity natural gas pipeline
Specific Description natural gas pipeline in Fulton, Arkansas
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 Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Dynamite/TNT
Weapon Details
23 sticks of dynamite tied to a gas pipeline
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information Snell, Scott and Thomas were eventually captured, indicted, and sentenced for their crimes and involvement with the Covenant, Sword, and Arm of the Lord. Snell's capture came during a police roadblock, after Snell shot and killed both a pawn shop owner who he believed to be Jewish (198311110006) and a black Arkansas state trooper. Snell was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of the police officer, and sentenced to death for the murder of the pawnshop owner, and Snell was subsequently executed in 1995.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Covenant, Sword and the Arm of the Lord (CSA) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 3
Number of Captured Perpetrators 3
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Federal Bureau of Investigation, "The Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord: Domestic Security/Terrorism Investigation," Official File Documents, FBI, DOJ, July 2, 1987.
Mark S. Hamm, "Terrorism as Crime: From Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and Beyond," New York University Press, 2007.
Christopher Hewitt, "Political Violence and Terrorism in Modern America: A Chronology," Praeger Security International, 2005.