Officials said a suspicious package that sparked a bomb scare at the federal building and courtroom complex in downtown Oakland on Wednesday was intended to draw a huge police reaction and carried a message for authorities.
The FBI and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad responded to a complaint of a suspicious object at the facility at 12:40 p.m., according to Lt. Ray Kelly, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
According to an FBI statement, a bag was left near a flag pole in front of the federal building. The bag was discovered by a security officer, who “determined it appeared to be suspicious.”
“In looking at this, this incident was designed to get this type of response,” says Kelly. “The person that left this package wanted this type of response.”
Employees were evacuated, and officials requested the public to avoid the area, according to Kelly.
The Sheriff’s Office posted on twitter at 5:29 p.m. that the package was “rendered safe,” adding that it would carry out “an additional search around the federal building out of an abundance of caution.”
The package has been rendered safe. We are doing an additional search around the federal building out of an abundance of caution.— Alameda County Sheriff (@ACSOSheriffs) January 20, 2022
According to Kelly, the package contained a “specific message for law enforcement.” The FBI was notified of the message and other evidence.
“The FBI will continue to follow all logical investigative leads related to this incident,” the agency adds. “To protect the integrity of the investigation, we have no additional information to provide at this time.”
According to the FBI, Oakland police have reopened the streets surrounding the federal facility to the public.
U.S. District Court, the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Coast Guard, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs are all housed in the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse complex.