A former Arizona State University professor has been arrested by authorities after making terrorist threats against the Liberty Bell.
The 41-year-old man claimed to have a satchel full of explosives when he entered the Liberty Bell Center on Saturday. According to CNN, police have charged Carlos J. Balsas with terroristic threats, bomb threats, and a variety of other offenses.
When the man entered the tourist destination on Saturday morning, security guards started to search his backpack. It was then that Balsas explained that he was carrying several explosive devices. Two backpacks were later discovered in front of the wheelchair and scooter rental shop in downtown Philadelphia.
According to The Inquirer, the man left the Liberty Bell Center before authorities could detain him. After being alerted by the US Park Rangers, police later apprehended the former professor.
Reports indicate that he was uncooperative when approached by officers. However, police were eventually able to place Balsas in handcuffs following a struggle.
Since authorities weren’t sure what the man had stashed inside his backpacks, authorities closed off the street and called in a bomb squad to investigate. After a thorough analysis of what was inside the satchels, police determined the backpacks didn’t contain any explosive devices.
Although the initial investigation was a collaboration between the Philadelphia Police and FBI, it’s believed that the US Attorney Office’s will take things over from here.
According to Politico, people were once encouraged to reach out and touch the Liberty Bell during their visits to the historic site. However, recent behavior from tourists have prompted officials to put a barrier between visitors and the bell.
In 2001, a man reportedly struck the bell repeatedly with a hammer before security guards could subdue him. As a result of the incident, security at the site was drastically increased.
What do you think should happen to the guy who threatened to blow up the Liberty Bell?
[Image by NSF]