- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah militia group leader who’s accused of trying to blow up a federally owned cabin in Arizona and has ties to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy will stay in jail, a judge decided Thursday.

William Keebler is also accused of scouting a mosque and a Bureau of Land Management Office in Salt Lake City. U.S. Magistrate Judge Dustin Pead said the cabin explosion could have been “but one step on a path of destruction and violence.”

The inert device was built by undercover FBI agents who had infiltrated his group that otherwise amounted to four people. It didn’t cause any damage when Keebler allegedly hit the trigger.

His friend Lor Potts said he isn’t violent and the agents set him up. “They’re the ones who took it and ran with it,” she said.

His lawyer Lynn Donaldson argued the planning allegations are exaggerated and what did happen may have been closer to civil disobedience.

But prosecutors contend Keebler was well-armed and willing to shoot any officers who responded to the explosion at the cabin in the in the northern Arizona area of Mt. Trumbull.

Keebler is facing on one count of attempting to damage federal property.

The FBI started investigating Keebler after he took part in a 2014 armed standoff with federal officials at Bundy’s Nevada ranch over unpaid grazing fees.

Keebler considers federal public land management policies harassment and wanted to blow up federal property to retaliate, charges state.

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