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042716-blm-loc-3tissue

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White talks about organ/tissue donation in April 2016 at the Illinois Farm Bureau Family of Companies auditorium, 1701 N. Towanda Ave., Bloomington. April is National Donate Life Month.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois officials said Tuesday they were aware of a 2018 threat to set off a bomb in the state Capitol rotunda directed at a satanic display there last Christmas season.

Dave Druker, spokesman for Secretary of State Jesse White, whose office provides security at the Capitol, said federal authorities notified the office of the threat.

"We tightened up security around the building," Druker said.

Nothing happened in Springfield as a result of the threat. However, a man in California was arrested in connection with the incident.

News website Salon reported last week on extremists in the country who are driven by conspiracy theories and pose a growing threat of violence. The publication cited a FBI intelligence bulletin from May 30 that was published by Yahoo news last week.

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The FBI report listed a number of instances of potential domestic terrorism, including a California man arrested on Dec. 19 last year. The report said bomb making material was found in the man's car. He reportedly said he was going to "blow up a satanic monument" in the Illinois Capitol. It was supposed to draw attention to Pizzagate and "the New World Order, who were dismantling society."

Pizzagate was the debunked conspiracy theory that high-ranking Democrats were using restaurants as part of a human trafficking and child sex ring.

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Last year, the Satanic Temple-Chicago got permission from the Secretary of State's office to put up a display in the rotunda along with traditional symbols of the holiday season like a Christmas tree, a crèche and a Menorah.

The group put up a statue about 4 1/2 feet high depicting a woman's extended forearm holding an apple and with a snake coiled around the arm. The group called it "Knowledge is the Greatest Gift."

The group's leader, Lex Manticore, was quoted then as saying the arm represents that of Eve in the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. Manticore said the group sees Satan "as the hero of that story, spreading knowledge."

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