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Man held after standoff near White House




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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A man in a suspicious van parked near the White House was arrested late Tuesday, more than four hours after authorities said he threatened to ignite a substance inside the vehicle.

The incident prompted a massive response from the FBI, Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies, with nearby buildings evacuated and several blocks shut down.

The man, whose name was not immediately released, surrendered to authorities at around 8 p.m., said Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Joe Gentile.

Gentile said the man pulled up to the corner of White House grounds -- at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue -- around 3:30 p.m. and told a member of the Secret Service "he had some type of substance in the vehicle, which he could detonate or ignite."

Members of the FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Park Police, D.C. police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, responded to the incident. Authorities blocked in the vehicle, which was parked along the parade route that President Bush will be taking for Thursday's inauguration.

Gentile said authorities were eventually able to negotiate with the man, and he decided to turn himself in. He was being charged with making felony threats.

It was not immediately clear what type of substance -- if any -- was in the van.

An FBI official said the incident appeared to be related to a domestic dispute and not terrorism. The man in the vehicle, registered in Michigan, told authorities that he recently lost custody of his child, and he then threatened to blow up a 15-gallon canister of gasoline if he didn't get the child back, the official said.

Security has been bolstered throughout Washington in the days before President Bush's inauguration. (Full story)

In November, an FBI informant set himself on fire in a suicide attempt in front of the White House. (Full story)

CNN's Terry Frieden contributed to this report.


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