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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Items found in U-Haul prompt terrorism investigation

Courtesy of Arizona Central

U-Haul prompt terrorism investigation

by Christopher Ramirez, The Arizona Republic

Sept. 28, 2007

Unusual items discovered in the back of a rental truck in Tempe prompted the county's anti-terrorism unit to launch an investigation Friday evening.

An employee at the U-Haul rental center near Priest Drive and Elliot Road called authorities around 5 p.m. after finding items that Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy Doug Matteson called "suspicious" in a 15-foot rental truck.

No explosive material, hazardous items or weapons were inside the truck, Matteson said. Instead papers and other items were found.

Matteson would not divulge exactly what the other items were or what they were related to, only saying it was significant enough for the Maricopa County's anti-terrorism group to be called out to investigate.
Authorities are currently checking where the truck came from and who last rented it.

Matteson said that he believes the truck has been at that U-Haul location for 3 to 6 months and that as far as he knows no one has had access to it during that time. The rental center is surrounded by fences and has a security unit, Matteson said.

The Department of Homeland Security would be notified, Matteson said, although the current situation was not to a level that would require that federal agency or the FBI to get involved in the investigation.

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