Man Convicted for Plot to Blow Up Opal Site

Laramie, WY – A Pennsylvania man has been convicted of trying to help a supposed al-Qaida operative blow up oil pipelines and refineries in Wyoming and elsewhere.

Forty-nine-year-old Michael Reynolds was convicted of charges that included providing material support to terrorists.

He told jurors in Scranton, Pennsylvania, that he was trying to uncover such plots while visiting Internet chat rooms frequented by Islamic extremists.

Reynolds was arrested in December 2005 after authorities said he tried to meet a purported al-Qaida contact who turned out to be a Montana judge who was working for the FBI.

Prosecutors said Reynolds targeted the Williams natural gas refinery in Opal, Wyoming and the Transcontinental Pipeline from the Gulf Coast through Pennsylvania to New York and New Jersey. They say he also targeted a Standard Oil refinery in New Jersey that no longer exists.