A Georgia prosecutor described the apparent shelling of a mysterious monument with an explosive device as an “act of domestic terrorism,” and said Thursday the alleged crime was directed against provincial authorities that own the site.
“The destruction of a public building by explosive is inherently intended to influence the actions of the governing authority that owns the structure,” Parks White, the prosecutor for the Northern Judicial Circuit, said in an email on Wednesday. explosion of the Georgia Guidestones.
“Using violence to influence or change the behavior of a government agency is terrorism,” said White, whose office would handle a possible prosecution.
The Elbert County Board of Commissioners is the governing authority of the site, he said.
No suspect has been identified in the case. In a statement Wednesday, White said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has “many” leads in its investigation into the explosion and that “a case is being filed against the perpetrator.”
The agency released new surveillance video on Thursday show what it described as an unknown person exiting the device at its northeast Georgia location. The explosion happened around 4 a.m. Wednesday.
The agency said one of the five massive granite slabs — which are inscribed with messages about preserving humanity — was destroyed in the explosion. The entire building was demolished after authorities determined the weakened monument was unsafe for researchers, the agency said.
The agency described the probe as active and underway.
The monument – called “America’s Stonehenge” – used to be unveiled on five hectares of farmland in 1980† It was planned by an anonymous group living outside of Georgia who described themselves as “loyal Americans who believe in God.” according to an account of the origin of the site on the website of the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce.
The group wanted to leave messages for future generations, the account says. According to a long story about the site published by Wired in 2009the Guidestones functioned as a clock, calendar, and compass, and those messages—engraved in eight languages—were intended as a post-apocalyptic guide for survivors.
That guidance included keeping the planet’s population below 500 million “in perpetual balance with nature” and creating a “living new language” to unite humanity.
According to the Wired account, the site had previously been the target of sprayed messages, including “Jesus will defeat you satanist” and “No world government”.
A recent Republican governor candidate, Kandiss Taylor, promised to turn the monument “to dust” if chosen. She came third in the May 24 primaries. In a tweet Wednesday, she said she believed God had knocked down “the Satanic Guidestones.”
In a separate video, Taylor said she was not in favor of demolishing the monument by fringe means, adding that the person behind the explosion “must be brought to justice”.
In his statement Wednesday, White said that “regardless of your feelings about the origin of the Guide Stones, their significance or the intent of the person who ordered and erected them, they are a historic landmark, and this destructive act was an attack on our community.” .”