“Pentagon Scare” Suspect Had Notes Mentioning al-Qaeda

ABC News
June 17, 2011

Law enforcement officials have identified the young man arrested in connection with the terror scare at the Pentagon as 22-year-old Yonathan Melaku.

Melaku, of Alexandria, Virginia, was taken into custody overnight in Arlington National Cemetery — less than a mile from the Pentagon — while in the possession of suspicious materials and notes making reference to al Qaeda, law enforcement sources said, sparking a bomb scare near the heart of the American military.

Sources told ABC News a backpack in Melaku’s possession contained a package labeled ammonium nitrate as well as spent firearm ammunition. Ammonium nitrate, a common fertilizer, can be used in explosives. The FBI later said despite the label, the backpack presented no immediate threat. A search of Melaku’s nearby car also found no potential devices. Law enforcement sources said Melaku does not appear to have known ties to any terror organization.

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