Pearl Harbor officials find car mortars at security gate, three in custody

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Three suspects were arrested after a mortar bomb was found in his car near a gate at Pearl Harbor-Hickam Joint Base in Hawaii, officials said Wednesday.

The base was reportedly closed for hours after the mortar was discovered on Tuesday. It is still unclear what the motives were for the suspects, according to the Associated Press.

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Base spokesman Charles Anthony referred to the mortar as "an explosive device" and "deadly weapon" but said no shooting device was discovered in the car. He also said the round could have been manipulated to explode without the firing device, but authorities found no evidence that the mortar was ready to explode.

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According to Anthony, the gate where the car was found is usually heavily guarded, and the smell of pot gives basic security.

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"The security first noticed the smell of weed and then looked into the vehicle and saw what potential ammunition was," he said.

The base was closed at around 10:30 pm. Tuesday, to allow a bomb squad to investigate the car. The gates were closed to incoming and outgoing traffic for two hours, but no one was injured during the incident.

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The Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) has arrested the suspects and will continue to conduct the investigation, Anthony said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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