One person was arrested Sunday evening after a bomb squad detonated a pressure cooker that was found in a vehicle near the U.S. Capitol building.
U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider said in a statement that Israel Shimeles of Alexandria, Va. was arrested and charged with “operating after revocation”. She did not elaborate on the nature of the charge.
The incident began at around 5 p.m. local time, when Capitol police officers on patrol noticed a vehicle they deemed “suspicious” on a street that crosses the National Mall west of the Capitol between Constitution and Independence Avenues. Further investigation revealed that the vehicle contained a pressure cooker and detected an odor of gasoline.
A bomb squad was called in and streets were temporarily closed off. The pressure cooker was detonated at approximately 7:45 p.m. The investigation was closed approximately 35 minutes later with nothing further found.
Senior security officials told Fox News that investigators initially believed that the pressure cooker “might be the real deal.” Pressure cookers have been used in several recent terror attacks, mostly notably the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured 260 others.
Sources told Fox News that the pressure cooker may have been part of a propane tank used in a food truck.
“[The owners’] story checked out,” said one source. “But we wanted to neutralize it.”
The incident took place as thousands of people were arriving at the West Front of the Capitol for the annual Memorial Day concert. The concert, which was televised nationally on PBS, featured appearances by singer Gloria Estefan, Gen. Colin Powell, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Demspey.
The scare did not affect the show, which went off on time and without incident.