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Would-be US Capitol truck bomber surrenders

A Metropolitan Police officer at the standoff in Washington on Thursday. Photo: Getty
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A man who claimed to have bomb in a pickup truck outside the Library of Congress in Washington DC has surrendered to law enforcement, ending an hours-long standoff in the heart of the US capital.

The man, identified by law enforcement officials as Floyd Ray Roseberry, 49, of North Carolina, crawled out of the vehicle and was being taken into custody shortly before 2.30pm Thursday (local time).

He had pulled up outside the library in his truck with no licence plates at about 9.15am and told police he had a bomb in his truck. An officer saw what appeared to be a detonator in the man’s hand.

So began a tense negotiation lasting about five hours.

Officials evacuated several buildings around the Capitol and sent snipers to the area, which was blocked off by police cars and barricades, multiple fire trucks and ambulances.

The US Congress is in recess this week, but staffers were seen calmly walking out of the area at the direction of authorities.

Police negotiators communicated with Mr Roseberry as he wrote notes and showed them to authorities from inside the truck, according to three people briefed on the matter.

Authorities had been trying to determine whether it was an operable bomb, the officials said. Police gave no immediate details on Mr Roseberry’s motive or any demands.

“My negotiators are hard at work trying to have a peaceful resolution to this incident,” US Capitol Police Chief J Thomas Manger said.

“We’re trying to get as much information as we can to find a way to peacefully resolve this.”

While police continued negotiations, video surfaced of Mr Roseberry on Facebook Live inside the truck, which was stuffed with coins and boxes.

He was threatening explosions, making anti-government threats and talking about what he believes are the ills of the country, including the US position on Afghanistan, health care and the military.

He said Democrats needed to step down, then also said he loved the president, Democrat Joe Biden. Facebook removed the videos a few hours after they were apparently filmed.

Mr Roseberry did not appear to have a specific demand for law enforcement other than to speak with Mr Biden.

Mr Roseberry’s ex-wife, Crystal Roseberry, said she had seen images of the man in the standoff at the Capitol and confirmed to The Associated Press that it was her ex-husband. She said had never known him to have explosives, but that he was an avid collector of firearms.

The nation’s capital has been tense since the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.