The Wando Terminal in Mt. Pleasant, SC part of the ports of Charleston was shut down on Wednesday night after a phone call to authorities from Ohio said there was a dirty bomb in a container in the terminal.
According to LT J.B. Zorn, at approximately 8 p.m. a caller stated that a “dirty bomb” (an explosive filled with radioactive material) was located inside of four containers in the Maersk Memphis. This caused evacuation of the terminal and until Thursday morning while authorities searched for any trace of explosives.
The caller was arrested on unrelated charges and may still face
The supposed plot was also outlined in a series of YouTube videos posted Wednesday.
The terminal was evacuated until early Thursday when the containers were scanned and declared safe.
Zorn and other Coast Guard officials at first said the caller was detained for questioning, but declined to discuss the matter further or provide more information on the man’s identity, citing the ongoing investigation.
The videos show two men, known for pushing far-right conspiracy theories, discussing the possibility of a threat on the Memphis. George Webb and Jason Goodman have racked up millions of views on YouTube discussing what they describe as political corruption.
In the video, Webb said he was told about a plot targeting Memphis, Tenn., before saying it might involve a ship by the same name.
Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Kelly, a Coast Guard spokesman based in Miami, said the man who reported the threat was detained by local authorities in Zanesville, Ohio on unrelated charges. A Zanesville Police Department jail officer confirmed to The Post and Courier a man named George Webb was arrested Wednesday night and granted $3,500 bail. The officer said she could not release further information, including what Webb was charged with and whether Webb was connected to the threat at the Port of Charleston.
Several other calls to Zanesville police officials were not returned. Other authorities could not release further information on the investigation.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent Donald Wood said he could not disclose much related to the investigation but did say “nobody was detained or arrested based on federal violations, or by the FBI” in connection with the threat.
Wood emphasized the investigation is ongoing.
The State Port Authority (SPA) said that although one shift was missed, the work was made up the following morning. It does set, however, a bad precedent for the parts of society that see an opportunity to make a political statement, regardless of the cost.
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Photo courtesy AP