Court records: Activist bought radioactive materials for ‘backup suicide plan’ if cancer returns
MADISON, Wis. — The former Wisconsin congressional candidate facing charges for attempting to buy radioactive material with intent to kill said he had bought the substances as a “backup suicide plan,” court documents say.
Jeremy Ryan was arrested Wednesday as part of an FBI investigation. Ryan had tried to buy the material from an undercover FBI agent online in an effort to kill an unnamed man, according to a criminal complaint
In a detention order released Monday, Judge Stephen L. Crocker said Ryan claimed he had bought the radioactive material as a backup plan for in case his cancer returns.
“There is no mechanism by which to determine whether Ryan also was communicating with others on the dark web and whether he had access to other sources of radioactive material, nor is there any mechanism to rule out the possibility that Ryan had another target in mind,” Crocker wrote.
The undercover FBI agent received a private message March 16 on the marketplace regarding radioactive substances he had for sale on the site, officials said.
According to the complaint, Ryan wrote, “Preferably something that is not going to be extremely brutal and drawn out. But the main quality is that it is extremely difficult to procure so that people automatically suspect the government.”
Ryan was in federal court Monday for a probable cause hearing. The court determined that Ryan is a risk to public safety as well as a flight risk and ordered to have him detained pending further proceedings in the case.
Ryan ran unsuccessfully for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s seat in the 1st Congressional District as a Republican. He is also a high-profile Capitol protester known as “Segway Jeremy.” He has registered to run as a Republican in two separate elections but identified himself as a progressive Republican trying to disrupt the two-party system, according to an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio.
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