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Arrest made in connection with state capitol bomb threat

Illinois State Capitol
Randy Eccles
Illinois State Capitol

A woman has been arrested in connection with bomb threats at two state buildings last month. Illinois State Police say Gabrielle Williams, 23, was taken into custody May 9.

On April 22, the Illinois Department of Human services received a call from an individual saying a bomb was in a public aid office building and the Illinois State Capitol. This threat was relayed to the ISP Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center, which implemented the State Agency Facility and Employee (SAFE) Threat Protocol.

The Secretary of State Capitol Police and its Hazardous Device Unit cleared the grounds of the Capitol, while ISP and the Springfield Police Department secured the other state facility until the SOS Hazardous Device Unit could clear that building.

The SAFE Threat Protocol also triggered an investigation by ISP special agents. Using cellular information and conducting interviews, ISP special agents were able to identify and locate the suspect.

The SAFE Threat Protocol has three main objectives:

• capture, assess, and route threat information

• investigate threats towards state employees, offices, and executives

• maintain a comprehensive understanding of the material reported and outcomes

“ISP took immediate action upon receiving information about this bomb threat and implemented our SAFE Threat Protocol,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Deploying ISP resources as quickly as possible allows our special agents to track down crucial information, identify suspects, and make arrests. ISP and our law enforcement partners in Springfield take every threat seriously and will track down and arrest those responsible for this criminal conduct.”

“I want to thank our Secretary of State Police, Illinois State Police, and Springfield Police for collaborating on this investigation and making an arrest,” said Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias. “We take the security of the Capitol Complex and the safety of its employees, public officials, and visitors extremely seriously. We will never tolerate threats of violence and will do everything within our power to hold those responsible and accountable for their actions.”

Williams is being held in the Sangamon County Jail pending a pre-trial detention hearing. A Clear and Present Danger report has been submitted to the ISP Office of Firearm Safety. A Clear and Present Danger report is filed when a person poses a threat to themselves or others. When ISP affirms a clear and present danger determination, if a person has a Firearms Owner Identification Card or an application for one, it will be revoked or denied.

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