- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A man who reportedly threatened to blow up his van outside the White House during inauguration week, clogging downtown traffic for nearly five hours, was ordered held without bail yesterday pending trial.

Lowell W. Timmers surrendered to police Jan. 18 after a 4-hour standoff. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of threatening to use an explosive device.

Mr. Timmers, 54, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, sat quietly as he listened to the evidence against him in U.S. District Court. His wife, Gloria, and two children drove from Cedar Springs, Mich., to attend the preliminary hearing.

“He is someone who has lived a quiet, law-abiding life,” said public defender Tony Axam, arguing for Mr. Timmers’ release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson, however, said Mr. Timmers was a flight risk and a potential threat to the community. Prosecutors have 30 days to deliver an indictment.

Mr. Timmers apparently came to Washington to talk with lawmakers about why the government was trying to deport his son-in-law.

“I want my son, and I’m not leaving until my son-in-law is out of jail,” Mr. Timmers told agents, according to court documents. “I have 10 gallons of gas in here, and I will blow up the van and the White House.”

D.C. police Officer Seth Holmes, an investigator with the region’s joint terrorism task force, testified that bomb technicians found six glass jars of gasoline, two 5-gallon tins of gasoline and four empty tins in Mr. Timmers’ older-model red Ford van.

“The components were all there [to ignite the gasoline], but they were not hooked up,” Officer Holmes said.

Mr. Timmers admitted he had been under the influence of marijuana at the time, Assistant U.S. Attorney Heidi M. Pasichow said.

“At best, what the government has before the court is a person who was rational and purposeful and had a legitimate issue of protest,” Mr. Axam told the judge. “Mr. Timmers pursued an ill-advised means of realizing that protest.”

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