A Wisconsin man was arrested today on a charge related to the May 2022 firebombing of a Madison office building.

According to court documents, Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury, 29, of Madison, is charged with one count of attempting to cause damage by means of fire or an explosive. Roychowdhury was arrested earlier today in Boston.

“According to the complaint, Mr. Roychowdhury used an incendiary device in violation of federal law in connection with his efforts to terrorize and intimidate a private organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “I commend the commitment and professionalism of law enforcement personnel who worked exhaustively to ensure that justice is served.” 

“This group of local and federal law enforcement officers has worked, with the federal prosecutors, diligently and creatively to move the investigation forward,” said U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O’Shea for the Western District of Wisconsin. “This case is an example of the results law enforcement can achieve when local and federal law investigators work as a team.”

“Violence is never an acceptable way for anyone to express their views or their disagreement,” said Assistant Director Robert R. Wells of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. “Today’s arrest demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to vigorously pursue those responsible for this dangerous attack and others across the country, and to hold them accountable for their criminal actions.”

According to the complaint, on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, 2022, at approximately 6:06 a.m., law enforcement responded to an active fire at an office building located in Madison, Wisconsin. Once inside the building, police observed a mason jar under a broken window; the jar was broken, and the lid and screw top were burned black. The police also saw a purple disposable lighter near the mason jar. On the opposite wall from the window, the police saw another mason jar with the lid on and a blue cloth tucked into the top; the cloth was singed. The jar was about half full of a clear fluid that smelled like an accelerant. Outside of the building, someone spray painted on one wall, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either” and, on another wall, a large “A” with a circle around it and the number “1312.” During the investigation, law enforcement collected DNA from the scene of the attack.

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In March 2023, law enforcement identified Roychowdhury as a possible suspect. Local police officers observed Roychowdhury dispose of food in a public trash can; the officers recovered the leftover food and related items, and law enforcement collected DNA from the food. On March 17, 2023, law enforcement advised that a forensic biologist examined the DNA evidence recovered from the attack scene and compared it to the DNA collected from the food contents. The forensic biologist found the two samples matched and likely were the same individual.

In March 2023, Roychowdhury travelled from Madison, Wisconsin, to Portland, Maine, and he purchased a one-way ticket from Boston to Guatemala City, departing this morning. Law enforcement arrested Roychowdhury at Boston Logan International Airport. Roychowdhury will have a detention hearing in Boston.

Roychowdhury is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston today. A date for his appearance in federal court in Madison has not been set.

If convicted, Roychowdhury faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison.

The Madison Police Department, Wisconsin State Capitol Police Department, ATF, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, Dane County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, with assistance provided by the FBI Boston Field Office, Boston Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Air Marshal Service, and Transportation Security Administration.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman for the Western District of Wisconsin and Trial Attorney Justin Sher of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Beck for the District of Massachusetts handled the appearance in Boston.

A complaint is merely an allegation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.