Texas courthouse break-in labeled a prank

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 19, 2011 5:48 PM
Texas courthouse break-in labeled a prank

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Five Moroccan men who were arrested during a Texas courthouse break-in early on Wednesday were pranksters who were likely intoxicated, and the incident was not terrorism related, authorities said.

Police had said earlier that they found photographs of public buildings, water systems and shopping malls from various U.S. cities in the men's van and that an anti-terrorism task force including the FBI would question them.

"There is no reason to think this is a terrorist incident," Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz told reporters.

Three men were found inside the 120-year-old Bexar County Courthouse, a landmark in downtown San Antonio, and two in a large recreational vehicle parked in front of the building, Bexar County spokeswoman Laura Jesse said.

She said all five were Moroccans.

"They got travel documents, parking passes, they have been all over the country," Police Captain Cris Andersen said earlier in the day. "A lot of photographic equipment, a lot of documentation equipment (was) inside their vehicle."

"They are going to be held for interrogation by the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the joint terrorism task force," Andersen said.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth; Editing by Jerry Norton and Will Dunham)