According to local media reports quoting a police statement, security officials received a tip last Thursday about “a man who had said he wanted to harm local Muslim community members.”
“Detectives found and arrested the man early Sunday without incident,” the police said in a statement. “The Richmond police SWAT team, joined by detectives, served a search warrant at the man’s house and found a possible explosive device.”
According to local media outlets, police evacuated residents in the neighborhood on Sunday.
“The Walnut Creek police bomb squad detonated the object at 6:05 p.m., and investigators found no other devices on scene,” Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan was quoted as saying.
Residents were told to return to their homes in the evening.
The suspect was identified by police as 55-year-old William Celli. He appeared to be a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to progressive online news site Rawstory.com.
“Donald trumps on again I’m happy leaders okay but this guys a great point man I’ll follow this MAN to the end of the world,” Celli reportedly posted Oct. 21.
“I have lost 30% of my business to Hispanics coming to my country under false pretenses an and freeload in construction or in the blue collar sector they need to go back home lets [sic] not talk about the welfare they suck dry,” he posted in June 2014 which echoed Trump’s anti-immigrant sentiments.
Front-runner in the polls ahead of the Republican primaries in 2016, Donald Trump, called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the US in the wake of the San Bernardino attack in which 14 people were killed by two suspected Daesh sympathizers. The Republican candidate’s statement has been largely condemned both in the US and worldwide.
Last week, a New York Times report revealed that anti-Muslim incidents across the US had tripled after the deadly attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.