Homemade bomb caused LA blast: cops
A homemade bomb caused an explosion near a Californian synagogue, police said Friday, naming an "extremely dangerous" homeless person they are hunting over the blast.
Some 100 peope were evacuated after the explosion Thursday near the Chabad House Jewish temple in Santa Monica, west of Los Angeles, which officials had said was due to some kind of industrial accident.
But Santa Monica police spokesman Jay Trisler said late Friday that further investigation had found material linked to a known transient in the debris of a metal post which landed on a nearby roof after the blast.
The suspect was named as 60-year-old Ron Hirsch -- who also goes by the name of Israel Fisher -- wanted on charges of possessing a destructive device and other unrelated charges.
"Hirsch is known to frequent synagogues and Jewish community centers seeking charity from patrons," said Trisler, adding that while the motive for an attack was unknown, Hirsch should be considered "extremely dangerous."
Nobody was injured in the early morning blast, which triggered initial reports of a pipe bomb before police said it due to "some type of mechanical failure," apparently underground.
An initial statement on the Chabad House website said a service was going on at the time of the scare, adding that those praying inside "did not hear or feel anything" and were alerted to the incident by police.
An update later Thursday said: "Some individual was attempting to separate concrete and pipe.
"He left the debris next to Chabad House and some chemical reaction took place which made the pipe shoot up and hit the roof of the next door property," it added, saying there was "some small damage to our outside wall."
The synagogue had no immediate further reaction after police identified the suspect it was seeking in connection with the explosive device.
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