Incident Summary:

04/08/2020: Assailants threw four homemade Molotov cocktails at St. Catherine Laboure Roman Catholic Church in Wheaton, Maryland, United States. There were no reported casualties, but the church was damaged in the attack. Authorities identified the assailants as Andrew Costas and Rebecca Matathias, who confessed to carrying out the attack. Matathias told authorities that Costas had described himself as the "Anti-Christ." Sources noted that Costas was arrested in March 2020 for drawing swastikas on a synagogue.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity St. Catherine Laboure Roman Catholic Church
Specific Description Church
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Molotov Cocktail/Petrol Bomb
Weapon Details
Four homemade Molotov cocktails, consisting of two Mason jars, a plastic bottle, and a can each filled with gasoline, were used in the attack.
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
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Anti-Religion extremists Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Personal claim)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 2
Number of Captured Perpetrators 2
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
"Rockville man, his girlfriend arrested for arson in church fires," Legal Monitor Worldwide, April 15, 2020.