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Uncooperative man with harmless suitcases not charged but deported for seeming suicide bomber-ish

April 15, 2005

Update to this post.

Australian in Capitol Standoff Also Went to the White House

Zhao also asked to meet with the president during the episode at the Capitol, authorities said. That incident began about 12:40 p.m., after Zhao rolled two suitcases to a fountain on the west side of the Capitol.

An officer approached Zhao and tried to ask him some questions, but he was not cooperative, police have said. Worried that Zhao might be a suicide bomber, the officer called for help, police have said.

An hour later, heavily armed officers tackled Zhao. Police X-rayed the suitcases and blew one bag apart with an explosive blast. Neither of the bags turned out to contain explosives, police said.

No charges were filed in the incident, which triggered a massive police response and shut down some streets and tours of the Capitol for three hours.


U.S. Capitol Police then turned him over to immigration authorities for expulsion proceedings. Zhao was held at an immigration center in Washington pending his removal.

In the post 9-11 world we must err the fuck on the side of caution. Though you’d think the US Capital Police would have at least one officer that could speak enough Australian to talk to this guy down.

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