A man who told police he made a pipe bomb to attack an abortion clinic was arrested Thursday, shortly before the device went off in a friend's home while authorities tried to disable it, according to court documents.
No one was injured by the explosion, which started a fire that burned the top floor of the Riverdale home, officials said.
Some friends of Robert F. Weiler Jr. had tipped off police about the 25-year-old's alleged plans Wednesday night.
Weiler then called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and surrendered to state troopers at a rest stop on Interstate 68 just after midnight. Investigators found a handgun and ammunition in his car, officials said.
According to an ATF affidavit, Weiler planned to bomb an abortion clinic in Greenbelt and use a .40-caliber handgun he had stolen from a friend to "shoot doctors who provided abortions."
Weiler faces four federal counts including making a destructive device and possessing an illegal handgun. He was being held Thursday.
Phone messages left at Weiler's home were not returned. A car in the driveway had a frame around the front license plate that read "Choose Life" and "God is pro-Life."
A woman who answered the phone at the Greenbelt clinic said they had not heard of the threat. In 1989, 80 abortion opponents were arrested for trespassing in a demonstration outside the clinic.