CALDWELL, Idaho — A man accused of threatening multiple bombings and a sarin gas attack in Nampa will remain in jail after his preliminary hearing was postponed Thursday morning.
Grant Stevenson, 22, was arrested earlier this month on felony charges of terrorism and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction.
Police say Stevenson sent Facebook messages to Nampa Police from a fake account, warning them of an attack he claimed would target a Nampa apartment complex later that evening.
"At 1731 S juniper st apartments we have a bomb planted in one of many units this bomb contains highly deadly Sarin gas we will detonate it in one 1 hour," the message read.
The sender also told police he had five car bombs set up to explode at the same time the sarin gas - a highly toxic nerve agent - was released.
According to court documents, Stevenson appeared to link the threat to the Islamic State, writing "death to America" and "the calphite (sic) will prevail."
Although police were not certain the threatened bombing was legitimate, the threats sparked an immediate response from Nampa Police, the ATF, FBI and National Guard, as well as fire crews, paramedics and a HazMat crew. Residents in the area were told not to leave their homes while police investigated, and Skyview High School, Northwest Nazarene University and Nampa Recreation Center were all placed on an hours-long lockdown.
Police connected Stevenson to the threats after learning that a woman Stevenson was angry at and her boyfriend had also received alarming messages from the fake Facebook account. Both were sent a photo of a person sitting in a car holding a gun, and the female victim - who lived in the area of the bomb threat - also received a message threatening to kill her boyfriend and sexually assault her.
Investigators also learned that Stevenson had been convicted as a teenager of calling in a series of bomb threats to schools around the Treasure Valley and Twin Falls.
When questioned, Stevenson denied making the threats, but let officers search his phone, where they found Google searches for different types of bombs, as well as an image search for "pistol in my lap," which returned results including the gun photo sent to the victims, according to court documents.
Stevenson was arrested on terrorism charges and booked into the Canyon County Jail, where he remains. Investigators say they have not found any evidence that the suspect had access to bombs or sarin gas, or that he was actually connected to the Islamic State.
Stevenson is currently held on a $2 million bond, although his lawyer indicated he will petition for that amount to be lowered at the next hearing. The defense attorney, Peter Mommer, asked to postpone Steveson's preliminary hearing, telling the judge he had not yet received or been able to review some evidence in the case.
Judge James Schiller agreed to push back the hearing, setting a new court date for April 11.
If convicted, Stevenson will face up to life in prison.