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Archive for Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Explosives found in truck parked near Statehouse

In events police say are unrelated, one man arrested for allegedly making threatening call to governor’s office, owner of suspicious truck arrested

Police block the area where a suspicious vehicle is parked on the west side of the Kansas Judicial Center, across the street from the statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Police say a man is being questioned in Topeka after allegedly phoning in a threat against the Kansas governor's office. Capitol police spokesman Patrick Saleh says another man is being questioned Wednesday afternoon about a suspicious vehicle parked near the Statehouse. The Topeka Capital-Journal report the two events don't appear to be related.

Police block the area where a suspicious vehicle is parked on the west side of the Kansas Judicial Center, across the street from the statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Police say a man is being questioned in Topeka after allegedly phoning in a threat against the Kansas governor's office. Capitol police spokesman Patrick Saleh says another man is being questioned Wednesday afternoon about a suspicious vehicle parked near the Statehouse. The Topeka Capital-Journal report the two events don't appear to be related.

February 15, 2012, 12:57 p.m. Updated February 16, 2012, 12:28 a.m.

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Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a bomb threat, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 in Topeka, Kan. Police say a man is being questioned in Topeka after allegedly phoning in a threat against the Kansas governor's office. Capitol police spokesman Patrick Saleh says another man is being questioned Wednesday afternoon about a suspicious vehicle parked near the Statehouse. The Topeka Capital-Journal report the two events don't appear to be related.

Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a bomb threat, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 in Topeka, Kan. Police say a man is being questioned in Topeka after allegedly phoning in a threat against the Kansas governor's office. Capitol police spokesman Patrick Saleh says another man is being questioned Wednesday afternoon about a suspicious vehicle parked near the Statehouse. The Topeka Capital-Journal report the two events don't appear to be related.

— Several homemade bombs were found Wednesday in a pickup truck parked near the Kansas Statehouse that had specialty license plates issued only to U.S. military paratroopers, and police said they arrested the owner inside an underground tunnel connecting the Capitol to an office building.

Capitol Police spokesman Patrick Saleh said the incident was not connected to another arrest Wednesday of a man who allegedly phoned in a threat to Gov. Sam Brownback’s office from a Topeka motel.

“Neither one of them was armed, and neither of them offered any resistance,” Saleh said.

Saleh said officers went to investigate the pickup after receiving a call from a state employee about it being parked in a restricted lot outside the Kansas Judicial Center, south of the Statehouse, without the normal state worker tag. An officer saw suspicious objects inside, including an empty gun holster, and authorities called in the Topeka Police Department’s bomb squad.

Saleh said the homemade explosives were made with household materials and designed to spray shrapnel once they were detonated. He didn’t have further details but called them “actual explosives.”

But, he added, “Everybody in the building was safe.”

Officers arrested the pickup’s owner inside the tunnel used by legislators, state officials, lobbyists and citizens to go between the Statehouse and a building that houses state agencies and legislators’ offices and where legislative committee meetings are held. Saleh said the man claimed to have an appointment in the office building, but none was verified. Saleh didn’t have information about the man’s identity.

The man was being questioned by agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Saleh said.

The discovery of the pickup truck led authorities to temporarily block traffic and access to the parking lot. The black Ford with no hood and a beat-up front grill, remained in the Judicial Center parking lot Wednesday afternoon, set off by a police car and orange cones.

The truck had a specialty Florida license plate issued only to qualified U.S. military paratroopers. It also had a special forces sticker on its bumper and stickers on its back window saying, “Welcome to America. Now speak English” and “Does my American flag offend you? Call 1 800 LEAVE THE USA.” The gate of the pickup bed also had a decal from a dealership in Ocala, Fla.

The Associated Press attempted to check the license plate number with the Florida Highway Patrol, but officials declined to provide information about the vehicle’s owner.

“We would not be able to release that because of an ongoing investigation they’ve got going on out there,” Lt. Jeff Frost said.

The pickup incident and the phoned-in threat to Brownback’s office came the same day a Kansas House committee opened three days of hearings on several bills designed to crack down on illegal immigration, backed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a former law professor who helped draft tough laws in Alabama and Arizona.

But Saleh said neither arrest was connected to a coinciding rally at the Statehouse that was protesting policies pursued by Brownback, Kobach and other Republican officials.

The other man was arrested at a Motel 6 in Topeka within minutes of making calls to Brownback’s office Wednesday morning and is being held in the local jail on suspicion of harassment by telephone, Saleh said. He is 37 and has no permanent address, but his last known home was Columbia, Mo.

Saleh said the man told officers he was planning to move to Salina, about 100 miles west of Topeka, but authorities couldn’t find an address for him there.

Saleh said the governor’s office pinpointed his location through caller ID. He described the man as “ranting” but said his comments were threatening enough for Brownback’s staff to call authorities.

The governor’s office referred calls about the incident to the Kansas Highway Patrol, which oversees the Capitol Police.

Comments

thebigspoon 2 years, 10 months ago

Probably threatened not to vote for Sam next time.

hyperinflate 2 years, 10 months ago

Here, let me save a lot of effort for the haters:

"arrested a man after he made a call from a Topeka motel that was considered threatening to the governor's office."

I'm sure he was a :

1.) Obama lover 2.) Muslim 3.) Liberal 4.) Person of a colored persuasion 5.) Lazy, good-for-nothing, no-tax paying leech

08Champs 2 years, 10 months ago

You are kidding, right? Kidding would mean it's funny though. And you're not.

hyperinflate 2 years, 10 months ago

Not fully understanding your meaning, but I noticed that LJW removes things that were (inadvertently) placed inside angle brackets. The sentence SHOULD have read:

I'm sure he was a [fill in the blank from the list below].

The purpose for this was to save the haters trouble from typing that the man was one (or more than one) of these things. Just doing my part.

08Champs 2 years, 10 months ago

Gotcha - usually I'm adept at diagnosing sarcasm. Sorry -

Steve Bunch 2 years, 10 months ago

Actually, if you parse that sentence you'll see that it was the motel that was considered threatening the governor's office (restrictive clause, signaled by the use of "that"). So a motel threatened an office. This sounds like a case for the state architect.

littlexav 2 years, 10 months ago

"a call... that was." you should learn your rules--there's no requirement that the subject restricted be immediately succeeded by the clause.

Steve Bunch 2 years, 10 months ago

Use of "that" restricts the following modifier to the noun directly before "that."

racerx 2 years, 10 months ago

Alright! A good ol' fashioned English grammar throw down! Take the gloves off! ;-)

thanksforcoming 2 years, 10 months ago

That's a pretty poor assumption. Although, the guy's last known address was Columbia, MO. That's strange.

Kontum1972 2 years, 10 months ago

i am liberal and a Vietnam Vet...have u got your white sheet on?

Tanner Stumbaugh 2 years, 10 months ago

What good did this person's threat do? As far as I can see, no progress was made, but a publicity stunt.... boring!! Yeah, a lot of people are upset with the Governor... but does it do any good to make threats? NO. He may have had a better outcome if he were to write a letter explaining his disregard for the governor's office's service.

verity 2 years, 10 months ago

I do write the governor---hasn't done one lick of good.

I also write my congress people. Doesn't do a lick of good.

I don't approve of violence or threats of violence on any way, shape or form, but when the government doesn't respond to the governed, this sort of thing is going to happen.

bradh 2 years, 10 months ago

Wow. Someone I didn't vote for is elected. He has policies I don't like, which is the reason I didn't vote for him. When I write him he doesn't do a 180 degree turn and start following positions he's been against his whole career. So now violence is guaranteed.

You might want to listen to yourself a bit. This is a democracy, not some third world country's first election just waiting to be overthrown, although you'd never know it by the comments on this site. We abide by the results of an election in a democracy and try to change them in the next election if you're not satisfied. You don't go around making threats or blowing things up. 99% of the people on this board seem to think strongarm tactics are all right in this case because they don't like an elected official, pretty sad.

Ricky_Vaughn 2 years, 10 months ago

Actually, it's a Republic, not a democracy...

verity 2 years, 10 months ago

Did you even read my post? I haven't seen one person on this board advocate violence (at least not those opposing Brownback and his policies). Where do you get 99%?

I was answering flyonthewall's post that "He may have had a better outcome if he were to write a letter explaining his disregard for the governor's office's service," and saying that would likely not have any effect.

I think it has become apparent that a lot of citizens did not get what they thought they were voting for. Even some Republican legislators have opposed some of Brownback's policies but he keeps on pushing them.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Brownback has messed up a lot of lives by not stopping the Bush/Cheney home loan fraudulent activities that his president was pulling off.

His defunding activity is further ruining lives by way of creating unemployment and the laying off of sooooooo many state workers.

Sam Brownback should not be surprised. His ruthless behavior is reckless and irresponsible.

yanman 2 years, 10 months ago

Brownback has messed up a lot of lives by not stopping the Bush/Cheney home loan fraudulent activities that his president was pulling off.

Yes, it was Bush/Cheney’s fault that so many people bought homes in which 100% of their monthly income had to go to their mortgage for them to make their monthly payments. Who could have foreseen that would have been a problem? Let’s not forget to blame the Banks as well why we’re at it.

somedude20 2 years, 10 months ago

It was a female who called and her threat was that she was going to think for herself and do what she wants with her reproductive system. Oh, she also told him that there is no such thing as "god" and to grow up and more on to another fairy tale

btownjhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

This is not a theocracy!! Want to live in one? Go to Iran.

Matthew Herbert 2 years, 10 months ago

TIME magazine once referred to Sebelius as one of the 5 best Governors in the USA. $100,000 says Brownback wouldn't crack the top 25.

BigAl 2 years, 10 months ago

You really think that the Replublicans "stand a higher ground" than Democrats? If so, then please explain how Newt Gingrich is still in the running for the Republican nomination. And Gingrich has even won over the religious right of the party? Are you kidding me?

globehead 2 years, 10 months ago

SImply because Sebelius wasn't much of a governor doesn't mean the state is better off with Brownback. And, certainly NOT a lot better off.

Steve Jacob 2 years, 10 months ago

Feel bad for the guy who was just parked is car and because some dumb guy called in a threat, he's is being grilled by police.

Ragingbear 2 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, that vehicle was full of homemade bombs. Take a look at a Topeka paper website.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 10 months ago

Which disappointed progressive went off the track? Could it be a poster from this award-winning website?

tomatogrower 2 years, 10 months ago

How can it be a progressive? I thought we all hated guns and didn't carry them.

1983Hawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Bzzzzzzt. You lose. But thanks for playing. The truck had a Florida tag and some sort of military/paratrooper bumper sticker on the back (from some pictures that sprang up on Twitter last night). So it's not like it was the Mystery Machine filled with a bunch of pot-smoking hippies. And the guy the popped for the phone threat was white trash from Columbia, Misery, (not exactly a hotbed of liberalism) and was calling from a Motel 6. Hardly a page from the Black Panthers' playbook.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 10 months ago

Blaming the intended victim? How classy...

jehovah_bob 2 years, 10 months ago

Why phone in a threat when you could just #heblowsalot?

Shane Garrett 2 years, 10 months ago

Wait, what? Did someone just insinuate that Topeka necks are a darker shade of red?

kernal 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't know about that reference to the color of Topekans necks but, those commenters over there got nothing on ours for the gift of wit.

Shane Garrett 2 years, 10 months ago

Well, I understand there was nothing to worry about. It was just a visiting Missouri person. They drive with home made IED's all the time, don't they?

Shane Garrett 2 years, 10 months ago

Wow, I be getting by stories switched up between callers and bombers. Sorry

Boston_Corbett 2 years, 10 months ago

Lets buy several more all-terrain attack vehicles, with bomb robots, and mandate concealed carry permits for everyone in the capitol.

That is the only possible way in this world we can be safe, I have read here.

beatrice 2 years, 10 months ago

Unbelievable. I'm glad nobody was hurt.

Liberty275 2 years, 10 months ago

The left is breeding a new klan of weather undergrounders. Hopefully the lot will have enough sense to stay off my lawn.

beatrice 2 years, 10 months ago

"... stickers on its back window saying, 'Welcome to America. Now speak English' and 'Does my American flag offend you? Call 1 800 LEAVE THE USA.'"

Umm ... those don't apear to be the bumper stickers of someone with left-leaning political views. You fail.

Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 10 months ago

I can't believe the right wing isn't up in arms over this.

Officers were suspicious of the vehicle due to a visible gun holster.

So much for the 2nd amendment...

Boston_Corbett 2 years, 10 months ago

Agreed. Snap and Glock believe gun accessories are statements of patriotism.

Getaroom 2 years, 10 months ago

Patience dear great summoner! Don't let this instant gratification for unsated gory details ruin the day. Leave some for later, for the voyeur spectators plate is quite full already just now and there will be more sorted bread crumbs to follow, whether it be pipe bombs, or a slabs of C-4 with detonator caps, redbluegreenyellow wires and possibly pay-as-you-go cell phones to explore with "Sherlock of the State Capital Yard".

beatrice 2 years, 10 months ago

"Saleh said the homemade explosives were made with household materials and designed to spray shrapnel once they were detonated. He didn’t have further details but called them 'actual explosives.'"

I don't believe a firecracker can be described as "designed to spray shrapnel." Sounds like bombs to me.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 10 months ago

So, has anybody determined yet if this a ticked off liberal or a ticked off secessionist/Libertarian?

Adrienne Sanders 2 years, 10 months ago

Judging by the bumper stickers, it must have been a libertarian (if those are my only two choices). Liberals don't usually have anti-immigration stickers on their pickup truck.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 10 months ago

These two guys most likely are mental health patients who cannot get proper treatment because of a lack of funding for mental health services.

"For the first time in more than three decades, mental health funding is declining. The drop-off is translating into a reduction in the number of psychiatric hospital beds, as well as fewer services for mental health emergencies and longer waiting lists for housing for the chronically mentally ill. The cuts are coming just as some experts say economic pressures are creating an increase in mental illness."

http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=499181

These incidents may be a result of mental illness, however, we are a society that is too quick to politicize everything at the expense of rational thought.

geekin_topekan 2 years, 10 months ago

Insert the word Embassy for Statehouse and this sounds like a headline from one of the "-stans" in the middle east! BBackistan? how eerie is that?

remember_username 2 years, 10 months ago

As the incidents were unrelated must we assume the owner of the pick-up truck was posing a threat to the governors office? It doesn't sound like a liberal from the description of the truck, perhaps it was just another of the governor's new-hires from Florida? You know...for the new Kansas Department of Homeland-on-the-Range Security.

Thekudude 2 years, 10 months ago

This guy made some bombs and was scoping out the tunnel for time and location to plant them. Pretty scary. There are so many people out there that are paranoid and miserable. And there are so many people out there that justs keep on bullying through life without a care for anyone or anything. That is what instigates the miserable folks to do something crazy. They have nothing to lose and they have to do something bold and crazy to get the attention.

Matt Needham 2 years, 10 months ago

Crazy and dangerous is the enemy of all law abiding citizens who ever you vote for. If we keep escalating the rhetoric and political drama with the "reds are nazis" and "blues are commies" BS you can be sure we will all be in more danger from the "kill 'em all" nut jobs.

tomatogrower 2 years, 10 months ago

Anti-immigrant? From Florida? He was just applying for a job in Brownback's administration. Yet, now no one will claim he had an appointment with them.

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