Thursday, April 8, 2010

U.S. Courthouses now under threat

At a time of heightened concerns over threats to government officials, federal authorities in Spokane kept quiet about the discovery of a bomb found alongside the Thomas S. Foley U.S. Courthouse last week. They acknowledged the investigation Wednesday, however, after the latest edition of Newsweek magazine disclosed the March 28 discovery as part of an article examining increasing anti-government threats and violence spreading across the nation. U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt defended the decision to try keeping the case under wraps. “It’s an ongoing criminal investigation,” McDevitt said. “Basically, that’s all we can say.” The device was located late in the evening on a Sunday, said Tom Rice, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington. Rice wouldn’t describe the device, where it was found or whether federal agents have identified any suspects.

Meanwhile, a Kansas City man, believed to be homeless, has been charged in connection with a bomb threat at the federal courthouse there earlier this week. Manuel Garcia, 66, was charged with placing a fake bomb outside the courthouse and making a false bomb threat over the telephone. A soft cooler was found near the east entrance to the federal courthouse on Monday morning. The cooler had a note attached, threatening that there would be an explosion. The bomb squad later determined that the cooler contained two small Kansas City telephone books. While authorities were investigating, a 911 call was received at 10:01 a.m. indicating that there were three additional explosive devices in the federal courthouse. According to court documents, a supervisor recognized Garcia’s voice from an earlier investigation, and Garcia was interviewed the same day.



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I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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