UPDATED at 1:35 p.m.: Additional details on the suspect continue to trickle in. The latest comes from CBS News, which reports that the man arrested is a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
According to the network, the man – Lance Cpl. Yonathan Melaku – told police that he was carrying explosive materials, which is what set off the original scare.
Original Post: Police temporarily shut down streets around the Pentagon early Friday, after a suspicious person and an abandoned vehicle prompted fears of a bomb scare in the area.
Initial news reports suggested that the suspect was carrying dangerous materials and pro-al-Qaida literature, but authorities now say the materials were harmless and that they likewise found nothing suspicious in an unoccupied vehicle that was believed to be his.
“There was not a device and the products found are determined right now to be inert,” said FBI spokeswoman Brenda Heck.
Police are still being relatively careful with the information they officially release, but the scare seems to have begun at roughly 1:30 a.m., after police found the man at Arlington National Cemetery, which is closed at night. The man attempted to flee but was eventually apprehended and taken into custody.
The suspect's behavior, along with the contents of his backpack, aroused concern and officials quickly began searching for his vehicle. According to the Washington Post, a bomb squad smashed out the window of his car to gain access and "render it safe." No suspicious materials were found in the vehicle.
Some news reports initially suggested that police were looking for two other suspects. But Heck said that authorities do not believe that anyone else was working with the man. “We do believe at this time that the individual acted alone,” she said at a news conference.
ABC News, citing unnamed sources, reported that authorities found "pro-al-Qaida statements" in a notebook that was in the suspect's backpack. While the notes appeared mostly to be for a finance class, there was at least one page containing the words "al-Qaida," "Taliban rules," "mujahidin," and "defeated coalition forces," the network reports.
But a senior law enforcement officials tells the Daily Beast that nothing in an early background check indicated any ties to terrorism.