Federal authorities in the United States have announced that a suspect has been arrested in connection with the firebombing of an office of Wisconsin Family Action in Madison on 8 May 2022. The attack was one of a series of violent direct actions carried out in the wake of the release of the leaked draft opinion which indicated the United States Supreme Court was about to overturn Roe v Wade.
The alleged attacker, 29-year-old Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury, was arrested at an airport in Boston in connection with the attack. Evidence at the time indicated the attacker had hurled two explosive Molotov cocktails at the building. The building was also spraypainted with threatening graffiti reading “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.” The building was empty at the time, and no one was injured.
DNA evidence extracted from the glass jar used as an explosive device allowed federal authorities to later track down the suspect. In January 2023, police identified via CCTV footage a man spray-painting “We will get our revenge” on capitol grounds in Atlanta in similar script to the Madison attack. Through this, they identified the attacker’s identity based on a vehicle he left the scene in. On 1 March, law enforcement saw a man driving the vehicle, who discarded of an empty fast-food bag, which allowed them to match the DNA evidence from the crime in Wisconsin with Mr Roychowdhury.
Despite the extreme and ideologically motivated nature of the attacks, widespread awareness or condemnation of the story has not been forthcoming. In an Irish context, if the shoe were on the other foot, one could safely predict Irish audiences would be regularly treated to coverage of such an attack.