Man Stopped at MacDill Gate Was AWOL; No Terrorism Suspected

MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL.
MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL.
TAMPA (2010-6-15) -

A civilian and an AWOL member of the military are still being questioned by military police at MacDill Air Force Base. The two tried to enter the base Monday night using fraudulent credentials and driving a vehicle where weapons and ammunition were found.

Base officials are sharing few details other than the male in his 20s and is active-duty but AWOL, Absent With Out Leave. They declined to identify his command or branch of service. The Caucasian woman, also in her 20s, is a civilian.

“At this point, there is no indication this is a terrorist act,” said Col. Dave Cohen, vice commander of MacDill’s 6th Air Mobility Wing. “We’re continuing the investigation but all leads at this point point to the fact that it is not.”

The two suspects were stopped at MacDill’s Bayshore Gate when their IDs looked suspicious. They were questioned by the security guards, taken into custody and their SUV was searched.

Three handguns and three “rifle-style” weapons were found along with ammunition. The weapons appeared to be the kind available commercially according to Cohen.

The suspects remain in custody and are continuing to be questioned. It will be up to the military justice system and the U.S. Attorney if there are any criminal charges. The AWOL military member’s fate will be determined by his command.

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