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Explosives found in Philadelphia bus station

Agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms are involved in the investigation.
Agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms are involved in the investigation.  


PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Police Friday found a suitcase containing C-4 plastic explosive that had been stored inside a locker at a Greyhound bus station, officials said. The bomb squad removed it, took it to police headquarters and plans to blow it up.

An FBI spokeswoman said there was no evidence linking the explosive to terrorist attacks.

Also found was 1,000 feet of military detonation cord, but no blasting cap, police said.

The amount of explosive was about the size of a bar of soap, weighing about 5 ounces, police said.

"It had the potential, obviously, of creating quite a bit of damage," said Police Commissioner John Timoney.

"Whoever put it there meant not to blow up the station, but to store it there," he told CNN. "For some reason, he never showed up or showed up too late."

The suitcase had been placed in a locker at 2:43 a.m. September 29. When it had not been claimed by October 3, a terminal worker removed it and placed it unopened in storage. After two to three weeks, abandoned luggage is opened and the contents -- typically clothes -- are given to homeless shelters. Friday morning, a worker opened the bag and saw the putty-like explosives and cord and called police. Timoney described the explosives as "high military caliber."

Agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms are involved in the investigation, he said. "We think we have some good forensic evidence," he said, including fingerprints and fibers that will be tested for DNA.

The Secret Service has offered its expertise in enhancing a poor quality videotape that may also prove useful to investigators, he said. "Hopefully, we'll come up with something."

No letter or threat was inside the bag, police said.

Police evacuated the building at 10:30 a.m. and took the suitcase to the police academy, where it was x-rayed and examined.

The contents were confirmed late Friday afternoon to be C-4.

"I have no information about any connection to the September 11 attacks or any other terrorist activities," said FBI Special Agent Linda Vizi.

Bus service had been halted for two hours, and police evacuated buildings and closed down streets within a two-block radius of the terminal. Though Timoney said the quantity involved "could have taken the building down," an explosives expert told CNN that the amount in question could have cause significant damage, but would not have leveled the terminal.



 
 
 
 



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