A bomb squad safely destroyed a pressure cooker found in an unattended vehicle parked on the National Mall near the US Capitol and the vehicle's owner was found and arrested, a US Capitol Police spokeswoman said. Capitol Police officers on routine patrol spotted the parked, unoccupied vehicle on a street on the mall west of the Capitol around 5pm yesterday. "Further investigation revealed a pressure cooker, and an odor of gasoline was detected," Police Lt. Kimberly A. Schneider told the AP, adding a Capitol Police bomb squad was called in because the vehicle was deemed "suspicious in nature."
Schneider said the bomb squad destroyed "items of concern in the vehicle including the pressure cooker" yesterday around 7:45pm after temporarily closing off the area; the investigation occurred during a concert in Washington though it was unclear how many people were nearby at the time. She did not immediately identify the other items but said only that "this safe disruption produced a loud bang." Schneider also said a follow-up search of the vehicle found nothing hazardous. The vehicle's owner was found and identified as Israel Shimeles of the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, Schneider said. Shimeles was arrested and charged with "operating after revocation," Schneider said, without elaborating on the charge. (Read more pressure cooker stories.)