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Sources say explosive device was sitting in Detroit federal building for several weeks
Guard suspended until further notice
6:34 PM, Mar 21, 2011
10:59 AM, Mar 22, 2011
DETROIT (WXYZ) - The explosive device that was found inside the McNamara federal
building, Friday, was actually sitting inside the building for
several weeks before it was examined.
A Department of Homeland Security official confirmed that an
on-site contract guard involved in the incident is suspended until
In the meantime, the FBI is working to confirm that the device
had "explosive components.” They have sent what's left of
those components to their lab at Quantico.
Action News cameras captured federal agents inspecting the
remnants of an explosive device after the Detroit Bomb Squad
detonated it on Belle Isle Friday. Crime scene tape and flags
marked the area—as a federal Evidence Response Team examined
what was left of the device.
Federal security officers removed the metal box from the
McNamara federal building around 10:00 a.m. on Friday. A security
officer x-rayed the box, and when it seemed suspicious, moved it to
a dumpster between two concrete barriers outside the building.
Police sources told Action News this is a “huge
concern.” They said the metal box was about 10 inches by 8
inches, and had wires and powder in it. It was found inside a nylon
bag with handles, in the security area of the McNamara
“We have to take every situation seriously,” said
Detroit Police Bomb Squad Inspector Don Johnson.
When the bomb squad arrived, a specially trained officer wearing
a protective suit removed the device from the dumpster, and then
they took it out to Belle Isle where it was detonated.
“I’m glad they did call us, and we were able to
secure the device, and look at it for further investigating, see
what’s actually inside the device,” said Johnson.
Several streets were shut down during the incident—but the
McNamara building was not evacuated. The building houses the FBI,
IRS, the Social Security Administration, and other federal
Several cameras are posted around the McNamara building.
Presumably, those will be reviewed to see if they can provide any
clues as to who left the explosive device inside.
When Action News Invetigator, Heather Catallo asked the
FBI’s spokeswoman, Sandra Berchtold, about whether they had
any suspects, Berchtold would only say she could neither confirm
nor deny that. It’s not clear at this point if the McNamara
building was searched.