Breaking: Attempted Terrorist Attack in the Capital? (Update: AQ Literature and Bomb-Making Materials?) (Update: Device Not Workable?) (Update: ABC Video) (Update: Video on Suspect’s Identity)
[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
Update (VII): More video from ABC on the identity of the suspect and his background:
The one question that a person naturally asks is answered by James Taranto. Yes, he is a Muslim. Taranto has additional thoughts about the political correctness that keeps the news media from reporting that news, and you really should read the whole thing.
Update (VI): This ABC News report seems fairly current and verified:
Update (V): The reports are so contradictory right now, I am officially going to stop updating for a while and wait to see what shakes out. But I will be watching it closely if only because I live in the area.
Update (II): Now the link above seems to be showing live coverage, generally, from a local station. (And they are saying they are not sure a device has actually been found.)
This morning they shut down all the roads around the Pentagon and an explanation is starting to trickle out. First, from the WAPO’s Breaking News blog:
A person was taken into custody near the Pentagon after a suspicious device was found in a car, NBC News is reporting.
One or two other people fled the scene and police were searching for them, according to NBC.
An official told NBC News the device “looks like a bomb,” although it remained unclear what it was.
Roads remain closed around the Pentagon and Arlington County police said they are investigating a suspicious vehicle on Washington Boulevard.
You should read the whole thing, updates and all, but this one at 8:07 is creepy:
Channel 9 is reporting authorities are planning to do a controlled explosion of the suspicious vehicle.
That means it looks real and dangerous enough that they don’t want to try to disarm it, right?
Update (V): Now ABC news says the device might not have been workable. So… I think I am going to let the dust settle for a bit, and see what can be confirmed.
And this CBS/AP article is very obviously the product of on-the-fly editing,* but adds some detail:
CBS News chief national security correspondent David Martin reports the Department of Homeland Security has one person in custody who is suspected of planting suspicious devices around the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Memorial.
It remains unclear whether the vehicle in question belongs to the person in custody, but all the roads around the Pentagon have been closed and traffic is at a standstill, says Martin.
So this is a breaking news story and we can expect details to be murky and things to be just plain wrong. Let’s not forget all the false reports we heard when Gabby Giffords was shot, not the least being the false report that she was dead. But piecing things together we might be seeing a coordinated attack; or they are getting it massively wrong. Expect more updates.
Update (III): If verified, this information, tweeted by Good Morning America, is troubling:
Just in: Man arrested at Arlington Cemetery near Pentagon w/backpack: ammonium nitrate, spent 9mm shells, Al Qaeda related statements inside[.]
Hmm… (Further Update: Non-tweet link.)
Update (IV): See what I mean about being suspicious of early reports? From the updated AP article:
The man was detained after the Park Police came across him over night in Arlington National Cemetery. The Park Police then launched a search for the man’s vehicle, which was found near the Pentagon, the Arlington police said.
Previously, the man was suspected of planting suspicious devices in the cemetery and at the Iwo Jima Memorial. The Arlington police did not confirm that report.
So that’s in the maybe column. Stay tuned.
* I have been hard on the AP for editing their stories without issuing a correction in the past, but bluntly this situation falls squarely into their rule allowing for changing the article without a correction in the midst of a breaking news story. So I expect that AP story to change, and that is in keeping with their rules.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]