“Pentagon Scare” Suspect Had Notes Mentioning al-Qaeda


PIERRE THOMAS, RICHARD ESPOSITO and LEE FERRAN
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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