Former ASU professor allegedly threatens blow up Liberty Bell - New York News

Former ASU professor allegedly threatens to blow up Liberty Bell

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A backpack Balsas allegedly told a security guard had explosives in it A backpack Balsas allegedly told a security guard had explosives in it
PHILADELPHIA -

A terrorist threat in Philadelphia on Saturday targeted one of our nation's symbols of freedom, the Liberty Bell.

Two back packs, reportedly containing bombs, were left near the Liberty Bell.

Those bags did not hold explosives and a suspect is now in federal custody.

The person accused of being behind the threat is 41-year-old Carlos Balsas, a former professor at Arizona State University.

One of his neighbors was taken aback, but not necessarily surprised by his arrest.

She says she was considering filing an order of protection against him. She says recently, he's become more aggressive.

Christine Darling lives in a Tempe townhouse above Balsas.

"I was actually so scared I called the Tempe Police Department at one point because of the interaction I had with him," said Darling.

Darling says she's been renovating her house for the last six months and says Balsas was accusing her of causing a leak in his home.

"He would literally come to my house, knocking at my door, screaming at me about it, even though me and my contractor have both offered to come in and fix it for free," said Darling. "Carlos was very adamant that nobody would come into his place."

According to the ASU website, Balsas is a former associate professor of urban planning at the university.

An ASU spokesperson confirms Balsas was employed there from 2004 to 2011, but would not comment further.

"After the interactions I had with him, he definitely doesn't seem like a very ASU professor type of person," said Darling. "My uncle, who was my contractor, was threatening to call the Department of Homeland Security because of how weird he was acting."

Saturday morning, Balsas was arrested in Philadelphia.

Police say he told security at the Liberty Bell Center that he had explosives in his backpack and left.

After a brief struggle, Balsas was arrested down the street.

Investigators say there were no signs of explosives in his backpack.

Balsas is charged with terroristic threats, bomb threats and other related crimes.

"So he's definitely very strange, doesn't know how to interact with people or how to go about dealing with things in a normal way," said Darling.

It is unclear if Balsas has an attorney.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is expected to pick up the case tomorrow.

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