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Man threatens to blow up van near White House
Updated: 2005-01-19 16:36

A man who threatened to blow up a van one block from the White House surrendered to police after a four-and-a-half-hour standoff on Tuesday in an incident the FBI said was linked to a domestic dispute, not terrorism.

A man sitting behind the wheel of a van stopped on Pennsylvania Avenue one block from the White House yells out the window at police officers during a standoff in Washington, January 18, 2005. [AP]

The threat sparked a major emergency in central Washington as stringent security precautions were being put into effect two days before the inauguration of President Bush.

"It ended at 7:55 p.m. with Metropolitan Police taking one subject into custody and they're going to charge him with one count of felony threat at this point," a Secret Service spokesman said.

Reuters witnesses saw a man in a large red van near the U.S. Treasury building, which is adjacent to the White House. He put his hands up after being ordered to do so by police but did not get out.

Police surrounded the van and the FBI said the man claimed he had 15 gallons of gasoline inside and threatened to blow it up if he did not get his child back.

"It's domestic, not terrorism," said a spokeswoman for the FBI's Washington field office.

Bush was not at the White House when the incident began. He was attending an event to honoring U.S. troops as part of the inauguration festivities.

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