Monday, February 28, 2011

Police arrest man after 24 Sussex Drive bomb threat

Police investigate after receiving a call before indicating that there was a bomb at the prime minister's official residence, Monday, Feb. 28, 2011.

Police arrest man after 24 Sussex Drive bomb threat

A Quebec man will face questioning from police in Canada's capital region after an alleged bomb threat targeted the prime minister's official residence on Monday morning.

Ottawa police received a call before 1:30 a.m. indicating that there was a bomb at 24 Sussex Drive in the Ottawa neighbourhood of New Edinburgh. Police searched the prime minister's residence but found nothing.

RCMP Const. Julie Morel told in a Monday morning telephone interview that police launched an investigation into the source of the bomb threat after it was determined that there was "no immediate threat to the prime minister or his family."

The call to Ottawa police was made on a cellphone that was traced to a Gatineau address, Gatineau police Lieut. Steve Dessureault told in a telephone interview on Monday morning.

Police went to the residence to try speaking to a 35-year-old male resident, but he refused to co-operate with the officers on scene, Dessureault said.

While waiting for a search warrant to enter the residence, the man threw a rollerblade at the officers on scene, which Dessureault said was a threat against the officers.

Dessureault said the man has subsequently been taken into custody.

Investigators are still waiting to speak with the suspect regarding the alleged Sussex Drive threat.

Ottawa police are assisting the RCMP with the ongoing investigation, Const. Henri Lanctot told in a brief telephone interview on Monday morning.

Monday's incident is not the first time that Harper has seen security threats involving his official quarters.

Last August, a man was accused of starting a small fire on the sidewalk outside the prime minister's residence. But Harper and his family were not home at the time.

Just over four years ago, a Quebec woman was charged after driving her car through the gate at the prime minister's official country home in Gatineau Park. The woman reportedly wanted to meet Harper, who was then in his first term as prime minister. In that case, Harper was at the Harrington Lake residence, but his spokesperson said "the incident was minor in nature."

The National Capital Commission website says that the house at 24 Sussex Drive has served as the official residence of Canada's prime ministers since 1950. It was built in 1868.