Incident Summary:

4/1/2004: Attempting to initiate a race war, Sean Gillespie hurled a Molotov cocktail at Temple B'nai Israel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. There were no casualties but the building sustained minor damages.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:


Oklahoma City

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Synagogue
Specific Description Temple B'nai Israel, Oklahoma City
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
Incendiary Molotov Cocktail/Petrol Bomb
Weapon Details
Molotov cocktail
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Sean Gillespie was a former member of the Aryan Nations. After his conviction, he sent a letter to Temple B'nai Israel stating that he was attempting to ignite a race war.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
White supremacists/nationalists No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
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
Sean Murphy, "Man Who Firebombed Jewish Temple Handed 39-Year Sentence," Associated Press, August 30, 2005.
"Washington Man Convicted in Attack on Synagogue," Associated Press, April 26, 2005.
Mark Potok Ed., "Terror From the Right: 75 Plots, Conspiracies and Racist Rampages Since Oklahoma City," Southern Poverty Law Center, 2009.