The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Kentucky State Police Post 10 have issued a warning that IEDs have been found in Harlan County.

Back in June, OutdoorHub published an article about officials investigating explosive rigged game cameras in Kentucky.

The public safety advisory, issued Monday, warns that some of the trail cameras were found abandoned on paths in rural areas near the Dave Smith Drainage Area, on the Little Black Mountain Spur in Harlan County.


These IEDs were designed to explode when a person inserted batteries into the trail camera, while others were set to explode by a trip wire leading to the trail cameras.

The first IED explosion happened in May and authorities had been on the lookout since.

An investigation led to the arrest of Mark Sawaf, in June, after police discovered materials in Sawaf’s trash that were connected to an explosive device that previously injured a man.

Authorities searched his home after his arrest and found trail camera parts, wire, and other materials that were used in the making of the IEDs.

During an attempt to have Sawaf find the remaining devices in Harlan County, he attempted to escape and was fatally shot.

With IEDs still believed to be in existence, authorities warn that should you come across a suspect trail camera or treestand, not to touch it and immediately notify law enforcement.

Image courtesy of jurvetson Flickr

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98 thoughts on “The ATF Issues Warning of More IEDs in Trail Cameras

    1. don’t think setting off a trip wire constitutes bothering someones camera. in the battery case, any camera left abandoned on my private property is mine. so i wouldn’t be bothering someone elses camera.

    1. They didn’t give all the info on this. He was planting them on other people’s property. He had already been confronted about being there without permission. He’s essentially a terrorist, or was, because he’s dead now after going for an officer’s gun. One less giant piece of shit in this world.

      1. What else would you call a guy that goes out and sets booby trapped devices meant to kill and maim if not a terrorist? Well, in this case it appears he’s an Obama loving Democrat so it all makes sense.

      2. I think the word “terrorist” is being way over used. It only adds to the fear we have in this country.

      3. I think too many people are afraid to call a spade a spade in this country and that’s part of the reason we have as many problems as we do. The guy was behaving as a terrorist, he’s a terrorist. Probably more along the lines of the Unabomber as opposed to a Jihadi but that’s of little matter.

      4. Google the guy’s name and read the other information out there about him, this is not the only story about this clown.

      5. Do you know the definition of terrorism? Apparently not, because this most definitely fits the description.

      6. in reading some posts it amazes me as there my cameras if on my property etc. in canada we can hunt or fish on private land permission to hunt on agriculture land or land fenced to keep livestock in is required all other lands if not having a wood harvesting operation etc is open to us things are done differently here and i guess we are freeer than the us which is good we do get in squabbles with land owners mostly us or german landowners that think the way it is in there home country is the way it is here a big wrong, regards alan

  1. “With IEDs still believed to be in existence, authorities warn that
    should you come across a suspect trail camera or treestand, not to touch
    it and immediately notify law enforcement.”

    I guess I don’t understand how one would identify a suspect trail camera.

    1. Well I suppose you would have to have at least a grade school education to understand. But would a suspect trail camera be yours? Are you a suspect? Or if you wanted to, Google the definition! It’s hard, I know, I have a 3 month old retarded bulldog and she has troubles too. Good luck to you, dip.

      1. My assumption, Hunter Houston, is that you yourself don’t know all of the definitions of “suspect.” The release said “a suspect trail camera” not “the suspect’s trail camera.” In this context, the word is being used as an adjective meaning “not to be relied on or trusted; possibly dangerous or false.” Does your bulldog help you get dressed in the morning and feed you, too?

      2. That was pretty rude; he was writing ‘tongue-in-cheek’. ATF saying beware suspect trail cameras is like telling kids to beware suspect kidnappers… that’s all he was saying dude, take a chill pill.

    2. i guess if you take one and try and put batteries in it and it explodes it is probably a suspect camera. is this site being invaded by peta???

      1. I saw a site where he is apparently a leftist extremist and a muslim, according to his facebook posts. I’d say it’s not a stretch to say there could be a terrorism nexus.

  2. stupid going after hunters they shoot back
    glad they got him but be vigileante as more are probably waiting regards alan

    1. just curious, how’s the hunter going to shoot back when he’s on the ground with his arm missing from an IED going off?

      and also, what’s the hunter going to shoot at? the person who left these didn’t hang out within eyesight of them waiting.

      so to sum up, IED goes off and either 1.) hunter is injured and not in the best condition to put up a defense. or 2.) IED goes off and the hunter isn’t injured, but still nothing to shoot at.

      So is your other idea just for hunters to stop and hold up anyone they find while out hunting to pat them down for IED materials? (and how would they even know what those materials were)

      when i imagine that there are people like you out there giving advice to others and they might be listening its.. a little terrifying.

      you are gonna get some innocent person shot by a hunter with this kind of talk

      1. who is the innocent person being shot by the hunter with this kind of talk? Using all the same arguments you brought up.

      2. DARK SPACE, The innocent person could be you, if you just happen to be out walking in the woods and walk up on this hunter who has the mind set to shoot first and ask questions later. YOU or anyone else may be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you as the OWNER happen to walk up on someone and catch them in the act of stealing your property, then shoot them in the ass and tell the cops he tried to get away when you made a citizen’s arrest for him stealing your property. P.S. Make sure you put the camera in his backpack before the copers arrive.

      3. you have no idea about law or hunters, how old are you. hunters shoot game and eat them. they don’t shoot people. by the way as part of your lacking education, even if someone is stealing everything you have and running away you can not shoot him. do you understand?? you can not shoot him anywhere.

      4. I understand your thoughts, but I think you misunderstood him and are using your anger towards the wrong people, he’s on our side, you just look ignorant.

      5. It’s pretty simple, I’ll go slow and use smaller words this time.

        The OP says that placing IEDs where hunters are is stupid because hunters “shoot back”.

        Ok, now explain how being able to “shoot back” is of help when dealing with an IED that has already gone off and no one is within line of site to fire at.

        You can’t because it doesn’t.

        Ask anyone who has been in combat if you can take out an IED explosion while it’s traveling at you with a bullet. For some crazy unknown reason, bullets do not stop an explosion.

        Better or did I go to fast for you?

      6. you are obviously a peta person or anti hunter, just a guess. i have no sympathy for a person setting up booby traps. we hunters are peta also. people eating tasty animals. i am glad he is dead, no court costs. as far as animal rights goes, they go rights in the pot.

      7. I was a combat engineer while in the Army. I have worked with EOD on deployments. My specialty was disarming explosives by detonation, by disarming or by using a large caliber rifle to make them blow up. Any common civilian with no training would never know what too look for when it comes to an IED. So even if they came up to one they would look at this stuff laying around as common trash. I have been blown up before and trust me you won’t be firing back even if the enemy is in the area. Wether you are wounded or just a percussion blast. It will ring your bell and cause you to lose disorientation for a little while. Regardless of what his last name is does not make him an ISIS terrorist. An attack on American soil American or not by definition does make you a terrorist. Does not mean you are working with an organization with the labels of Islamic terrorist. Besides this was out in the back woods where not a lot of people go. They like to have their names out there when taking American lives so they are not linked.

    1. A sad day for you, jwp. And a sad day for anyone who cares that much about others using a plant. Keep on spreading lies and wild speculation.

    1. Just like the feds want to do with all us patriots, gun owners, and non-Obama voters.
      What are the odds, he ‘attempted to escape’ so we had to ‘defend ourselves’.

      Solves all their problems and shuts the slaves up that way.

  3. He was shackled at his legs and his hands, he was bringing the authorities to show them where he had put the other SMALL explosives because he never intended on any one getting hurt he just wanted his cameras to not be messed with. As he was shackled he was shot by a fireman!! He is NOT a terrorist!

      1. Hahahaha I cracked up the your response ATF. These liberal psychos got a big awakening once Brazilian Nuts gets out of office.

    1. Shackled or not, he can still try to escape. He was probably warned of the consequences of trying to escape. Why are you defending someone planting explosives on American soil no matter the intention or size?? There are other ways to handle people tampering with your cameras besides explosives.

      1. “Why are you defending someone planting explosives on American soil no matter the intention or size??”

        The US police do this constantly. Look at the guy they blew up, literally murdered with a bomb, in Dallas.

        You said regardless of intention, those are your words. Just know that casts a lot of those you may support in the role of terrorist.

    2. That would be a great twist if you hadn’t read the story or used any logic to what really happened. The trail cameras weren’t on his property, they werent functioning cameras he was using as they didn’t have batteries on purpose, and last but not least they didn’t say he was shackled whatsoever. Protein powder, paint cans, and tree stand explosives of you read the at letter were also found so if I called your argument reaching, that would be too generous.

    3. Are you black or something? We usually only here these insane conspiracy theories supporting violent criminals out of their culture.

      1. OK MR. AWESOME, so now we know that you are a racist who has vigilante tendencies, anything else you’d like the feds to know?

    4. You must be one of the local meth heads/ pill heads who wrongfully thought this piece of excrement was a decent human being! was

      He was a Muslim terrorist who planted bombs in a public place that were designed to injure or kill people. He was shot by an arson investigator while trying to steal the sidearm of a federal agent.

      I can promise you he didn’t find his 72 virgins in HELL!

      1. Glad to see the namecalling liberal lefties like Lexi read this.

        Maybe there is hope for them yet?…..probably not.

  4. As someone that has lost thousands of dollars in stolen hunting gear over the last ten years I can honestly say I get where this guy is coming from. Granted, his actions were criminal, but leave other people’s stuff alone. You loose and arm, or your life, stealing people’s stuff, that’s on you. I tell my son all the time, that your going to have to make choices in this life but always do so knowing the results of those choices are yours to deal with. That applies on both sides of this issue.

      1. A lot of societies impose harsh punishments on people who hurt/steal from innocent people.*

        The only thing that makes islam any different is they commit those acts for things like drawing their prophet.

        *(Oh, and those societies that actually punish people for crimes? Yeah, not a lot of theft.)

      2. Yea, countries like Saudi Arabia should brag about their low crime rate. For example, in 2009, a 23-year-old woman was sentenced to a year in prison and 100 lashes in 2009 for adultery after being raped by five men. In 2007, a 19-year-old victim of rape by seven men receiving a sentence of six-months in jail and 200 lashes. But yea, not a lot of theft! Oh wait…The most common crime in 2002 was theft, which accounted for 47% of total reported crime. GOOGLE!

      3. Saudi Arabia is one of Hillary’s biggest financial supporters. But, you probably knew that, I just wanted to stick that in here.

      4. Huge difference between publicly lopping someone’s arm off in the square, and taking down an intruder. These days it’s worth reminding kids that breaking into houses and taking what isn’t theirs is taking their lives into their own hands.

        If you carry, you’re a hypocrite for that statement. Or a moron. I’m not sure based on just two sentences.

  5. I would trust my life with local police over the feds any day! Here’s troubling story that hasn’t gone viral right! Now what if it was the Local Cops who was escorting the man & then killed him as he escaped?
    We are living in muddy waters

    1. Or MAYBE, just maybe. The violent piece of human garbage who set bombs in the woods to kill innocent people actually did try something, and the police are not automatically to blame.

      God, the blacks do enough of this crap where they support violent felons accounts over police officers. You’re white, you don’t have whatever excuse they are currently claiming.

      1. My man my point is I trust local police over the feds under Barrack’s Leadership! I am no way in rooting for criminals! I agree a dude setting bombs and killing people deserves a death sentence! MY ultimate point is had the guy died under local police in similar fashion it would be front page news! the fefs right now get a pass it seems

      2. Our current police state knows no barriers to color. They’ll kill you just the same for not being one of them.

        GO look at the anti-BLM stats, police in the US kill WHITE PEOPLE more than Blacks by a 3 to 1 margin….WE SHOULD BE THE ONES PROTESTING US ALL GETTING KILLED BY THE LIBERAL AUTHORITARIAN OBAMA-COPS.

      3. He actually said he trusts his life with the local police over the feds. So…. And I agree with him. Local cops are 99.99% good guys. Feds, er… not so much. Check out the FBI director just recently. JS

  6. So he tried to escape and they shot and killed him, sounds like someone didn’t think this one through too well.

      1. No they shot a bomb maker that had the skill set and motivation to kill or injure people when he attempted to escape and most likely make more bombs.

  7. So moral.of the story some dude got sick of greedy ducks stealing his Trail Camp and was like watch. The next man tons teal my trail cam can get it. In such a rural.area. I bet the man new exactly who he was trying to target… JUST SAYING BY THE WAY

      1. Hey student, grammar matters. So, one must watch calling others idiots and proving themselves ignorant in the same sentence. Was just iterating the fact that the best weed is growing in Eastern Kentucky and the folks down there do not mess around.

    1. And a LOT of idiots supporting the Terrorism connected with that market by using that Poison. Sad that will all the things we have today to entertain ourselves in this country, IDIOTS still use Dope,,,,and pay for the carnage in Mexico, the U.S. and also support Terrorism around the world. thanks Stoners… Disgusting Junkies.

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