South Carolina: Wando Terminal in Port of Charleston Secured After False Alarm for “Dirty Bomb”


The FBI said late Wednesday, June 14, 2017 it was investigating a claim about a possible “dirty bomb” aboard the Maersk Memphis ship at the Wando Terminal in the Port of Charleston, located in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

The Wando Terminal and proximity was evacuated, and a section of the Cooper River was also evacuated as a precaution. Employees of the Wando Terminal were sent home and told to leave the terminal about 9:00 p.m. Boaters were also escorted off the water due to the situation, according to the US Coast Guard station.

The Coast Guard reported that a unified command was established to oversee the coordinated response. Local, state and federal agencies that responded included the Coast Guard, FBI, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Mount Pleasant Police, Mount Pleasant Fire, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Charleston Port Authority, National Guard, SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) as well as Hazmat and EMS crews.

Fourteen agents with radiation detection technology investigated and scanned four shipping containers and found no signs of radiation, officials said.

By Thursday morning the Wando Terminal was re-opened and the safety zone perimeter was lifted.

Capt. Greg Stump, the commander for the Coast Guard sector in Charleston, said a YouTube “conspiracy theorist” made a claim about a threat on board one of the ships.

The Port of Charleston spans three municipalities — Charleston, North Charleston, and Mount Pleasant. There are five public terminals owned and operated by the South Carolina Ports Authority.

Wando Terminal is just northeast of Charleston, South Carolina.

Joint Base Charleston and the Charleston Naval Complex is about 11 to 15 miles northwest of the Port of Charleston. Joint Base Charleston is a large and important combined facility of the United States Air Force Charleston Air Force Base and the United States Navy Naval Support Activity Charleston that involves worldwide military transport and explosive ordnance. The armed services facilities merged on October 1, 2010.

Joint Base Charleston shares runways with Charleston International Airport — a joint civil-military airport — for commercial airlines operations on the south side of the airfield and general aviation aircraft operations on the east side. Military operations are primarily on the north side of the airport with several C-17 Globemaster III military cargo aircraft based at Joint Base Charleston. Joint Base Charleston is under jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 628th Air Base Wing, Air Mobility Command (AMC).

MAERSK MEMPHIS is a container ship built in 2007 and currently sailing under the flag of USA. According to the recent port calls detected by AIS (Automatic Identification System) the MAERSK MEMPHIS was recently located in the following five ports …

Gibraltar on June 5, 2017
Algeciras, Spain on June 5, 2017
Gibraltar, Gibraltar on June 4, 2017
Salalah, Oman on May 26, 2017
Mumbai, India on May 22, 2017


A dirty bomb or radiological dispersal device (RDD) is a radiological weapon that combines radioactive material with conventional explosives. The malicious purpose of the weapon is to contaminate the area of the explosion with radioactive material, which may cause fatalities and injuries, but more likely cause disruption by contaminating geographical areas precluding habitation and use of geographical areas.

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