Fort Bragg closes gate after man tries to gain access
By RACHAEL RILEY AND STEVE DEVANE | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: July 2, 2019
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — The All American gate at Fort Bragg was closed for more than three hours Monday when a man without valid identification tried to access the post.
Officials were not able to access a container in the man's pickup truck. An initial test of the box showed that it might have explosive residue, said Col. Larry C. Dewey, commander of the 16th Military Police Brigade and director of emergency services for Fort Bragg.
Dewey said the tests didn't confirm explosives, but showed a "cursory positive" for residue.
"We're not sure what's in the container," he said. "We're just being safe."
The Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit was able to access the package and determine that it was not dangerous, officials said. The gate was opened after the unit checked the man's vehicle.
The man, who gave several fake names, was detained, Dewey said. The man is not a soldier, he said.
Fort Bragg officials have not released the man's name. Officials believe the man is an American citizen and are working to properly identify him, Dewey said.
The incident happened at about 2:15 p.m., post officials said. The gate was reopened about 5:30 p.m.
Traffic was rerouted to other Fort Bragg gates while access was closed at what is known as the All American Access Control Point. Traffic approaching post on the All American Freeway was diverted onto Sante Fe Drive, while vehicles going toward Fort Bragg from N.C. 295 were being sent onto the freeway headed away from the post.
This is is the second time in less than four months that the gate has been closed because of a security threat. In an unrelated incident on March 12, a foreign national without proper identification attempted to access the post.
An affidavit of the criminal complaint filed against Nouran Ahmad Shibab Sueidan said that he repeated requests to tour "the special operations facility."
In April, charges against Sueidan were dropped, court documents with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina state.
On March 27, a psychiatrist diagnosed Sueidan with "mental disorder that compromises his ability to stand trial," based on observations, court documents state.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency issued a detainer against Sueidan in March, meaning if he was released or charges were dismissed he would be transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention.
Dewey said there's no indication if the attempt to access the gate on Monday was part of a bigger threat against the post. Officials are just beginning the investigation, he said.
"Criminal intelligence experts will look at this and try to determine if it's part of any bigger probing or bigger threat out there," Dewey said at a news conference Monday.