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Authorities Link Man Detained Near Pentagon to Earlier Shootings at MIlitary Installations Authorities Link Man Detained Near Pentagon to Earlier Shootings at MI...

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National Security / HOMELAND SECURITY

Authorities Link Man Detained Near Pentagon to Earlier Shootings at MIlitary Installations

photo of Sara Sorcher
June 22, 2011

Authorities have uncovered evidence linking the Marine Corps reservist detained on Friday near the Pentagon to several shootings at local military installations last year, the Associated Press reported.

Law enforcement officials are investigating 22-year-old Yonathan Melaku, who was found in Arlington National Cemetery early Friday carrying a backpack containing bags of powder-marked ammonium nitrate. After he proved uncooperative with authorities’ questions, police conducted sweeps of the area, revealing a suspicious vehicle in the vicinity. Despite fears that Melaku intended to use the material to build bombs, authorities determined the backpack’s contents to be nonexplosive.

Officials told the AP on Wednesday they uncovered evidence linking Melaku to earlier shooting incidents targeting several Washington-area military recruiting stations—one Marine Corps outfit—and the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va. In another shooting, two windows at the Pentagon were damaged. No one was injured in any of these incidents.

 

Melaku, who has not been charged in last week’s security scare near the Pentagon or in any of the earlier shootings, is still in custody for unrelated larceny charges. He is due to appear in a hearing for these charges on Thursday.

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