Thursday, December 06, 2007

Terrornoia Strikes Silver Spring



A "suspicious" briefcase at the Christmas display at Austin Grill in the outside area shut down The Promenade for two hours tonight. There was a heavy police presence and the area was cleared out of pedestrians and employees.

What probably happened: some dude hid his briefcase during happy hour while he hung out at the bar, got drunk, forgot about said briefcase and went home without it.

UPDATE: Despite earlier reports, this suspicious package wasn't actually IN Austin Grill, rather it was in an unrelated display outside the restaurant.

Also, there was an actual bomb threat called in, so I am hereby retracting my "terrornoia" categorization. Anyway, they terminated the package with extreme prejudice using a controlled explosion (and a bomb robot?) that I heard inside my house a mile away. Of course, I didn't know anything about it at the time, so it had the somewhat ironic effect of actually making me a little uneasy after hearing a mysterious explosion in the distance.

More here from the Examiner.



17 comments:

DMZ said...

I don't think it's _paranoia_ to be wary of suspicious packages. That's how the train bombings in Spain were carried out, and Israel has issues with these often, too. I wouldn't be shocked to hear the IRA had used them, but I can't think of any specific cases off the top of my head.

IMHO, it was entirely the right response. 9/11, the USS Cole, the embassy bombings, the attacks in Saudi on Americans - there are nasty people out there who don't like us. Better a little safe than sorry, and this response didn't infringe on your civil liberties or rights anyways.

Daniel said...

While I'm sure someone today is having to explain why that don't have their presentation, I am inferring from your post that we should perhaps have ignored the "package"? I agree with dmz. An overabundance of caution will prevent an overabundance of regret...and nobody needing their phone tapped!

Sligo said...

I guess my point was that we've gotten to the point where someone forgets a bag somewhere and the bomb squad gets called in.

Sligo said...

And I just like the word "terrornoia"...

Anonymous said...

"Terrornoia" connotes this was some kind of extreme response. In fact the response was totally appropriate. Yes, we have gotten to the point where the bomb squad is called in when someone forgets a briefcase. There are signs all over the Metro, airports, train stations, etc., about unattended bags so this should be no surprise to anyone.

Sligo said...

Airports, I can understand... Downtown Silver Spring, not as much.

Anyway, I apologize for using that particular expression... it's not like they aren't letting you take photos there or anything.

Anon and on said...

I'm with you, Sligo. It's gotten to be fairly ridiculous how we can't seem to cope with anything out of sorts without involving SWAT teams. Makes one yearn for the good old-fashioned days when you found someone's bag, rifled through it briefly for ID, and then turned it in to the pimply teenager managing the host checkstand.

RIP common sense.

chaz said...

Agreed that it might be a little much. And now we'll never find out what was actually in that bag! It was probably just Walter's dirty undies.

I live close by and the explosion was quite a shock. Thanks to the bloggers for following up; I kind of expected it to become one of those mysteries of Silver Spring.

lil b said...

Thanks for the news! I was trying to get to McGinty's last night and my group was stopped by 4 cops right near Marimekko, who wouldn't tell us anything except that the whole block was closed and they couldn't say for how long. Which I understand but was still annoyed by.

DC said...

Scary, just when you stop thinking about this stuff there is always another reminder!

Amanda from DC Metrocentric

EastWest said...

It's not unreasonable to have shown some caution in this case. At least they didn't evacuate everyone within a mile.

And it was a "package," not a "lite brite"-style picture of a cartoon character, a traffic counter, a typewriter, a bat detector, a CD player, an electronic name badge, a tape dispenser (???), a little flour on the ground in a parking lot, Thai chili sauce cooking on a stove, or an open beer can on someone's front porch. [Sorry, can't find the link for that last one.]

Nor was it Jewish architect minding his own business on a plane; a Jewish man praying on the subway; a calypso band that was in "high spirits" in an airline terminal but (gasp!) sat quietly once aboard the plane; a man reading a book with the word "terrorist" in the title; a man in a diabetic coma on a bus; plane passengers wearing jackets and checking their watches, or handling their cell phones, or speaking a non-English language; someone staring at the police, an English professor recycling paper; an airline employee with a ball of rubber bands in his luggage; nor a Secret Service agent from the President's own security detail who looked Middle-Eastern.

Sligo said...

EastWest, that is the most fantastic use of hyperlinks I have ever seen.

EastWest said...

Dang, it mangled the URL. Note to self: Preview! One more try
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20071203/BREAKING01/71203010

Oh, and thanks, Sligo.

rd said...

I'm cool with authorities overreacting instead of underreacting. It potentially makes the area seem safer and less interesting for a target. However, they should clear things up QUICKLY.

Silver Springer said...

What is a bit ironic is has anyone ever noticed all the bags (some of them gym bags) under the platform of the MARC station in SS? I think that is where some of the resident homeless people stash their stuff, but in my mind that is much more of a suspicious package, in a more "damaging" place than the Austin Grill. I reported them when I first noticed (months ago), and they are still there.

Thayer Avenue said...

Damn. I wondered where I left my briefcase. Shouldn't have had that 5th martini.

Swank said...

I live a block away from DTSS, so I heard the "controlled explosion" loud and clear. I didn't know it was controlled at first, so I was worried. But when I went down to Z pizza to get dinner, DTSS was still standing. Eastwest, I'm so glad they didn't evacuate everyone within a mile, it would have been horrible. I guess the metro station would have to be shut down.