Park Police said they arrested a man who intended to draw attention to himself at the National Mall with an SUV full of fireworks.
The suspect, 27-year-old Glenn Neff of Stuart, Fla., was arrested in Cabin John Regional Park in Bethesda overnight Tuesday.
According to Park Police, Neff's vehicle, a red Jeep Cherokee, had been fitted with a turret and multiple tubes, which authorities believe were meant to deploy fireworks from. A cache of pyrotechnics was discovered inside the vehicle.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force was alerted and also responded to the scene.
Police said that while in custody, Neff told them that he did not intend to harm anyone, but he did want to grab the public's attention on the National Mall. Neff wanted to send a message about the banking industry, authorities said.
However, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue told News4 that Neff could have caused "significant injury" in the nation's capital.
"The device that he was assembling on top of his vehicle was going to allow him to aim fireworks in any direction, and fire them horizontally" assistant chief Scott Graham said. "His intention was to go to the National Mall."
On the social media site Facebook, Neff's profile contains some writing alluding to the economy. From the page:
"I've spent a lot of time over the course of my adult life trying to understand how the economy works . . . and about a year and a half ago, I figured it out.
I have come to the inescapable conclusion that the bankers at the Federal Reserve engineered this financial crisis on purpose."
Park Police said the Florida man's Jeep also contained drug paraphernalia and alcohol. They said charges are pending Tuesday morning.
Montgomery County Fire and Explosive Investigations rendered the devices safe on the scene.