UPDATED: Bomb Squad Investigates Threat at Americans for Prosperity Office

by ARLnow.com August 22, 2011 at 11:28 am 5,313 30 Comments

Update at 12:15 p.m. — The scene has been cleared and employees are being allowed back into the office.

Earlier: Arlington County’s bomb squad is investigating some sort of bomb threat inside an office building in Courthouse.

Initial reports suggest the threat was made to the conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, at 2111 Wilson Boulevard. Bomb-sniffing dogs from the Arlington County Police Department and Virgina State Police are on the scene. Americans for Prosperity employees have been evacuated, but employees in other offices have been allowed to remain.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has been the source of some controversy recently. Among other incidents, the group was accused of sending error-filled ballots to Democrats in Wisconsin during a contentious election this month.

David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch, the original founders of AFP’s predecessor organization, have been major supporters of numerous conservative causes. The New Yorker has reported that Americans for Prosperity provides organizational and financial support to the Tea Party movement.

  • TGEoA

    Stay classy unions

  • Theakston

    it must have been those “Americans against prosperity” guys.

  • MB

    Indeed, I’d look forward to finding out who made the actual threat. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were surprised.

  • Rick

    If I didn’t know any better I’d say that was the old Bush Cheney 04 HQ. Nice the conservatives are keeping it in the family

  • SaveDaveMcKenna

    Morton Downey, Jr. likes this.

    • Tabby

      Isn’t he dead?

  • Erik Telford

    Very impressive how you manage to turn a story about a bomb threat into a hit piece on the organization. Bias much?

    • Banksy

      I think ArlNow let AFP’s record speak for itself. There are so many “grassroots” organizations out there — all with nice-sounding names — that it makes sense for ArlNow to describe who AFP is.

      The fact that it sounds like a “hit piece” to describe some of the actions that AFP is best known for says more about the group’s agenda than ArlNow’s reporting. The ballot trick they tried to pull in Wisconsin was damn sleazy.

    • Josh S

      Hit piece?

      Do you have some unexpressed feelings of guilt you’d like to get off your chest, Erik?

      Every statement made was fact and might be used to help explain why a bomb threat may have been called in in the first place. In case readers were wondering.

      • Lou

        Agreed. It could even help narrow down the suspects and ensure their swift prosecution.

  • Blah

    Apparently the only thing the bomb dogs found inside were alot of bad ideas…. I think the EOD technical terms for them is “duds”…

    (The Bush-Cheney Deficit Expansion headquarters was at an adjacent building in the same complex)

    • jan

      Good one

  • ArlWeather Underground

    I guess it’s ok to threaten an organization, so long as you don’t agree with their objectives… After all, then your threat is a community (organizer’s) service.

    • Banksy

      Really? You take a *possible* threat in an office building — a threat that *might* be directed at a specific group and that proves to be nothing — and you whine that we’re not exhibiting an amount of outrage that is appropriate in your mind? Tough titties.

      Criticizing AFP is not tantamount to condoning any alleged threat to them.

  • Newtdog73


  • johnny b

    The real question of course, is what kind of ‘bomb threat’ is serious enough to bring in dogs and evacuate the AFP office, but NOT evacuate any others in the building??
    If there had been a bomb, and it went off, would you want to be in the next office over or above or below?

    • Poodles

      It is generally the choice of a private property owner or manager whether or not to evacuate and permit law enforcement to conduct a sweep in response to a bomb threat. The evacuation is not so much a “let’s get out of here before it goes boom” response, but rather a get-out-of-the-way so the dogs can do their thing unimpeded response. Should a suspicious device be identified, or a more credible threat be made, you would see more robust evacuations of surrounding areas. The vast majority of “bomb threats” are very vague and lack any determinable credibility. These sweeps are generally done in an overabundance of caution and to put at ease those persons directly affected. Any reasonable person can understand the obvious limitations of such sweeps in a scenario where a suspect has the actual intent to detonate a device. I don’t suspect there are many documented cases where a suspect has shared a threat with such specificity that it allowed for an evacuation and a disabling of their device before it was able to explode. The whole concept of suspect-shared bomb threats is pretty counterintuitive…

  • Bender

    I have an office in that building.

    How is background of this particular group at all relevant to a bomb threat? It is not only that tenant that is affected by such threats, everyone in the building is victimized.

    How about some minimal professionalism here in your reporting? How about reporting about the perpetrators of the threats, rather than thinly-veiled blame-the-victim pieces like this?

    • Police aren’t giving any specifics about the threat, but if you have any information on the perpetrators we’re all ears.

      • Bender

        Why don’t you do your job and investigate yourself?

        By the way, how’d you get all that background info on the targeted group so fast? Did you just go to some partisan leftist group and get it from them? After all, they are the only ones who care about the Koch brothers — or who had ever heard of them before.

        But instead of investigating which hate group might be responsible for this act of terrorism — and that is what a bomb threat is — instead of researching which leftist groups might be out there attacking Americans for Prosperity, so as to encourage such threats, you instead use this as an occasion to fan the flames of hate.

        Why even bother with reporting about the bomb threat? That clearly was not the main focus of the post. Instead, the main focus is an unprofessional pathetic hack hit piece which practically incites this kind of violence.

        • or..

          Reichstag Fire anyone?

    • Banksy

      All of this harping on ArlNow for describing Americans for Prosperity is hilarious. When a threat occurs, isn’t it normal operating procedure to look at the intended target to determine who might have a motive for harming them?

      Saying AFP is controversial is “not blaming the victim.” It’s no different from saying that Planned Parenthood is controversial. Gotta wonder why some folks object so much to having a description of AFP in this article. Sunshine hurts, don’t it?

  • Lou

    Is that the same David H Koch that they announce before every NOVA episode as one of the major financial supporters?

  • Sikudhani

    Word on the street is the bomb threat was on a voice mail left over the weekend while the office was closed…

  • Ken

    What really happened: A brown person called the office and said he disagrees with AFP’s views.

  • Just the Facts

    Bender, you left out the rest of your name: “of Reality.” You really went off the deep end there. Why don’t you tell us how you really feel? Seeing liberal ghoulies behind every bush is a symptom of TMFN syndrome-Too Much Fox News. Take a break from Hannity tonight.


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