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Entries in McNamara Federal Building (2)

Friday
Mar252011

Michigan Man Arrested in Detroit Federal Building Bomb Case

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- The FBI has arrested a Michigan man with an alleged history of threats against its agents in connection to the explosive device that sat for three weeks inside a Detroit federal building.

Matching the bomb components left outside the McNamara Federal building in Detroit to purchases at Home Depot, the FBI zeroed in on Gary John Mikulich, 42, from Iron Mountain, Michigan.

Mikulich was arrested Thursday and charged with explosives violations for allegedly constructing and leaving the device by the federal building on Feb. 26.

The device was moved inside the building by an unsuspecting security guard and sat unattended for three weeks before guards wised up last week.

The incident has prompted numerous questions about security at federal buildings.

The device initially was discovered in a tool bag left outside the federal building on Feb. 26, 2011, but was not scanned or x-rayed by security personnel until last week.  The device appears to have contained viable explosives.

Witnesses heard a loud bang and saw smoke with an explosion that sent the metal box containing the bomb 10 feet into the air last Friday when the Detroit police and FBI detonated it.

The FBI used some advanced records checks to identify individuals who had purchased items that were used to construct the device that was placed in a Husky tool bag.  According to the FBI affidavit in the case, the Husky brand tool bags are sold exclusively at Home Depot stores.

According to the affidavit, "Representatives from Home Depot confirmed that since October 2010, only nine (9) individuals in the United States have purchased, together at the same time, the following two items: (1) a Husky brand tool bag of the same size as that found at the McNamara Building on February 26, 2011, and (2) a spring wound 60-minute timer by General Electric."

The FBI further determined that of those nine individuals, only one of the purchases was made with cash.  The FBI determined this purchase was made in Iron Mountain, Michigan on Feb. 14, 2011.  The FBI reviewed surveillance video from the store and determined that it was indeed Mikulich.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar232011

Active Bomb Sat in Detroit's McNamara Federal Building 

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- In what appears to be a major security breach, a live bomb was allowed to remain in the federal building in Detroit for three weeks before the bomb squad was called in to remove it.

The Detroit Police Department bomb squad was finally called in March 18 to remove the device in the McNamara Federal Building, which houses the FBI, IRS and offices for Sen. Carl Levin. The pipe bomb device had apparently been discovered three weeks earlier by a building guard.

"A contract guard apparently saw this package outside on Feb. 26th," according to David Wright, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 918, which represents the Federal Protective Service Employees.

"Against all security protocols -- an unattended package should be treated with extreme caution -- he picked up that package and took it inside basically on the premise of 'lost and found' property. And apparently stored it. That was on Feb. 26. On March 18th, last Friday, someone got the idea to x-ray the package. At that point wires were seen... and it turned out to be a bomb."

Following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and concerns about terrorists, federal buildings across the U.S. got increased security including metal detectors.

But a 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office sting saw congressional investigators smuggle bomb components past screeners at a federal building.

ABC News obtained video of the sting -- and it took just 27 seconds to get a device past security. The GAO investigator later assembled a bomb in the restroom, and then walked around the facility undetected. In all, the GAO was able to penetrate each of 10 of the undisclosed federal buildings it tested across the United States.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio