KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A bomb-sniffing dog has detected the presence of some sort of explosives inside the vehicle of a man who walked into the Kansas City federal building and told authorities he was a terrorist.
This news comes just hours after UT-Austin, North Dakota State University, and Valparaiso University were evacuated due to bomb threats.
Twitchy will monitor this story and update accordingly.
Area roads have been closed and nearby buildings evacuated:
Authorities have closed the exit from Interstate 70 to 13th Street and have blocked off 12th and 13th streets between Cherry and Charlotte. Northbound Locust Street is closed from Truman Road to 12th Street. All access to Locust Street in that area is shut down.
The Richard Bolling Federal Building and the Fletcher Daniels State Office Building have both been evacuated.
The suspect is apparently on the federal terrorist watch list:
Sources told the Star the man created a disturbance inside the Fletcher Daniels building at 615 E. 13th Street by yelling something to the effect of: “Why am I on the terrorist watch list?”
Authorities detained the man and sent a bomb-sniffing dog to check the man’s car in circle drive in front of the building. The dog gave its handler a positive indication on the car’s trunk, so police are handling the incident as a credible threat. Police also found a gun in the car.
Police confirmed the man is on the watch list.
A flight restriction has been placed around the federal building:
The vehicle in which explosives were detected is registered to Wahed Moharam, a Kansas City Chiefs fan familiar to many as “Helmet Man.” He is currently in police custody:
The [Kansas City] Star reported that his tickets were revoked because of safety concerns in 2003. He was once in the federal witness protection program for testifying in the first World Trade Center bombing.
Everything is OK,” a man identifying himself as Waheed told the newspaper. “I don’t have to tell you exactly where I am. The FBI requests me to hang up the phone, but I can assure you I’m OK and they treat me good.”
He added: “And everything mistake. Everything mistake. I didn’t have any bad thing anyway. Everything is just…thank you and God bless you and I’m OK.”
Just before 5 p.m., authorities confirmed that no explosives were found in the vehicle. A temporary flight restriction issued for downtown Kansas City was lifted shortly after. Police reopened the streets, which were closed for most of the day, just after 5 p.m.
Kansas City residents are reacting to the news:
And, right on cue: