government may seek order from court to hold jerry koch in civil contempt

Yesterday Brooklyn anarchist Jerry Koch refused for the second time to testify before a federal grand jury. The grand jury is apparently investigating the explosion of a homemade bomb at an armed-forces recruitment center in the middle of the night in Times Square in 2008, which caused no injuries. According to an April 28 New York Times article,

Surveillance video showed a bicyclist dismounting, approaching the recruitment center, then riding away before the explosion. Police officials said the device used was similar to ones that exploded outside the British Consulate on East 42nd Street in 2005, and outside the Mexican Consulate on East 37th Street in 2007. No one was hurt in those blasts either.

(The bombing of the Mexican Consulate occurred on the anniversary of anarchist-journalist Brad Will’s murder by a Mexican police officer on October 27, 2006.)

Koch is not a suspect, but he has been subpoenaed as a witness and granted immunity, meaning he could be cited for contempt during an appearance next week and held for months for refusing to testify. In 2009, Koch was called before a previous grand jury examining the bombing and did not testify. At that time, the government believed Koch was in a bar in 2008 or 2009 and heard someone mention knowing who was involved in the incident; but Koch has said he does not remember such a conversation.