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False Alarms at Federal Court in Boston Today


John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse — It has been a confusing afternoon in front of the federal courthouse in Boston, as authorities evacuated the building due to an apparent threat and reporters scrambled to sort out conflicting reports as to whether authorities have arrested a suspect.

CNN earlier reported that not only had an arrest been made, but that the suspect was on his way to court. This prompted hundreds of media members, myself included, to gather around the building, which sits on Fan Pier in South Boston, with scores of bystanders and not a few construction workers from a neighboring site.

At about 3:00 P.M., Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals, Boston Police, and Federal Protective Service police pushed the crowds back from the building as workers were evacuated and Boston fire-department and bomb-sniffing dogs arrived on scene.

Since then, the fire-department presence has died down, and CNN has retracted its mistaken reporting. At about 4:12 p.m., authorities emerged from the courthouse waving a green flag and signaling employees to return. 

A variety of sources, including the Boston Police Department, say no arrest has been made in the marathon bombing case. A police press conference scheduled for 1:00 p.m. was first postponed to 5:00 p.m., and then postponed indefinitely. 


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