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San Antonio officials say break-in suspects not on watch list

October 19, 2011 |  3:30 pm

San antonio
San Antonio officials said a group of five Moroccan nationals suspected of breaking into a county courthouse Wednesday were not on a terrorist watch list.

“We have no indication that they’re on anybody’s watch list or they were here to do anything terrorist,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said during a briefing outside the courthouse Wednesday afternoon.

Wolff said at least two men, believed to be among those arrested, were seen in security camera footage parading down a courthouse hallway in decorative sombreros snatched from the law library and waving judges' gavels. The men appeared to be drunk when they were apprehended, and the incident was likely a prank, officials said.

Wolff said local officials were still working with the FBI to investigate the incident after the men were arrested about 1:40 a.m. on suspicion of burglary.

He said the men all have French home addresses and entered the country legally, arriving from London. They had rented a recreational vehicle in New Jersey, he said, but it was not clear what their final destination was.

The men were still in custody and being questioned with the help of a translator late Wednesday.

Authorities had applied for a warrant to search the men's RV, according to Cliff Herberg, Bexar County’s first assistant criminal district attorney.

“That might give us an indication of any other possible motive,” Herberg said.

Herberg said there was no indication of “terrorist activity,” but that he would seek a high bond “in an abundance of caution” because the men are foreign nationals and pose a flight risk.


Five men questioned in burglary at San Antonio courthouse

San Antonio courthouse break-in may be just a prank, police say

FBI, police say 5 men caught breaking into San Antonio courthouse

--Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Houston

Photo: Security footage shows two men walking down the courthouse hallway in sombreros. Five Moroccan nationals have been arrested on suspicion of breaking into thehistoric Bexar County courthouse. Credit: Bexar County Sheriff's Office.