Marine Reservist Is The Suspect In The Pentagon Scare | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Marine Reservist Is The Suspect In The Pentagon Scare

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A 22-year-old Marine Reservist is in custody for this morning's Pentagon scare.
Armando Trull
A 22-year-old Marine Reservist is in custody for this morning's Pentagon scare.

Authorities closed off access to the Pentagon for a few hours this morning and agents also conducted a raid at the suspect's Alexandria home. Around 7 a.m., Johnnie Briley says he and his neighbors heard police helicopters hovering near their home.

"Within a matter of 15-20 minutes everythings coming loose," says Briley. "There's cops just coming from everywhere."

It was a raid on the home of Yonathan Melaku, 22, a naturalized U.S. citizen, who's originally from Ethiopia, and and Marine Reservist.

Greg Lawrence, a neighbor, says the bomb disposal units were brought in.

"They went in early and did a quick search with dogs, obviously bomb sniffing dogs," says Lawrence.

Authorities say no explosives were discovered in the brick townhouse in Alexandria. But hours after the raid, FBI agents in white plastic overalls were still carting away evidence in boxes.

The investigation began after Melaku was discovered roaming Arlington Cemetery around 1:30 a.m. –- even though the cemetery is closed after dark. Officials say Melaku was uncooperative when first questioned.

Police also removed a car Melaku had parked near the Pentagon.

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