Report has fresh details about bomb incident at Detroit federal building

You may recall reports of a bomb incident in March 2011 at the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building in Detroit, which houses the FBI and other federal agencies.

New details have emerged in a recent report the Department of Homeland Security has issued about the incident.

The bottom line: Someone left a canvas bag containing a small locked safe outside the federal building. A security guard brought the bag inside, where it sat under a security checkpoint desk for three weeks before someone figured out there was a bomb inside the safe.

Several guards who saw the bag under the desk assumed it was either found property or personal property of another guard.

Over the three weeks, the bag and its contents were looked at, X-rayed and shaken by guards and their supervisors, who were trying to figure out what was inside.

Update: Video of rampant speculation about the contents of the canvas bag.

Eventually two guards did the right thing. When they used screening equipment and could not identify the bag’s contents, they notified a Federal Protective Service (FPS) inspector, who determined that the bag might contain a bomb and took appropriate actions.

The report concluded that DECO, Inc., the contractor that supplies security services to the FPS, “committed multiple breaches of its contract” but those breaches “were the result of poor judgment by the guard [who brought the bag inside], not systemic problems with DECO.

“FPS also bears some responsibility for the bag that contained the IED [improvised explosive device] remaining in the building for 21 days.”

As a result of the incident, the guard who brought the bag inside was fired, along with two other guards. Another resigned before being fired. Written warnings or suspensions were issued to 16 other DECO employees.

Since shortly after the incident, the FPS has been renewing its contract with DECO in three-month increments. The FPS intends to solicit a new contract for guard services in Michigan. DECO will be allowed to bid on the new contract, according to the report.