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Attack on LA Gay Pride parade thwarted

/ 07:58 AM June 13, 2016
Investigators view items removed from a car, left, after a heavily armed man was arrested in Santa Monica, Calif., early Sunday, June 12, 2016. The man reportedly told police he was in the area for West Hollywood's huge gay pride parade. Authorities did not know of any connection between the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday and the Santa Monica arrest. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Investigators view items removed from a car, left, after a heavily armed man, James Howell, (inset) was arrested in Santa Monica, California, early Sunday, June 12, 2016. Howell reportedly told police he to ‘harm’ West Hollywood’s huge gay pride parade. Authorities did not know of any connection between Howell and the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. AP

LOS ANGELES, United States — A man whose car contained a cache of weapons and bomb-making materials was arrested on Sunday after telling police he wanted to “harm” the Los Angeles Gay Pride parade, authorities said.

James Howell, 20, was detained in nearby Santa Monica with multiple weapons, ammunition and bomb-making materials in his car, which had Indiana license plates, police said.

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The arrest came just hours after 50 people were massacred at a gay nightclub in Florida.

READ: 50 dead in Florida nightclub shooting, worst in US history | Jihadist link probed in deadly Florida terror attack

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Santa Monica police chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said on Twitter that Howell told officers about “wanting to harm (the) Gay Pride event,” in reference to the annual L.A. Pride parade that took place in Hollywood on Sunday amid beefed up security.

Santa Monica police said in a statement that Howell was arrested after a resident reported a prowler knocking on their door and window at around 5:00 am.

When officers responded, they found Howell sitting in a car with three assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and ammunition, the statement said.

“Additionally, officers discovered a five-gallon bucket with chemicals capable of forming an improvised explosive device,” it added.

Seabrooks said there was no known connection between Howell and the carnage in Orlando, Florida — the worst mass shooting in US history.

Authorities said they had considered calling off the parade but then decided to go forward while beefing up security, including placing undercover police in the crowd.

The march went ahead without incident.

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TAGS: gays, homosexuals, LA Gay Pride, LGBT, Los Angeles, news, terror
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