Potential Terrorist Act Thought To Be Part Of Larger Plot Against Retail Giant

Updated at 6 p.m., Oct. 17, 2012

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — CBS 2 has learned the FBI foiled a bomb plot targeting a Home Depot on Long Island on Monday.

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Law enforcement sources said Wednesday a person had been taken into custody and that charges were pending, but that person was later released, CBS 2 reported. Authorities had been trying to determine if the person should be charged on a state or federal level.

On Wednesday afternoon, police responded to a report of a suspicious package at a Home Depot in the Nassau County town of Elmont. Police said they are beefing up security at area Home Depots as authorities continue to analyze the device from Monday’s incident in Huntington, 1010 WINS reported.

The person was taken into custody in the Huntington case hours after sources told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis that a pipe bomb was planted inside the store, on or near a shelf where innocent people could find it, and get hurt.

Police said the store, which had about 50 people inside at the time, was evacuated. Customers were left to wonder what could have happened.

“I think it’s crazy. People are calling in bomb threats to Home Depot? It says a lot about what our world is like now, that there are crazy people and we have to be careful,” customer Nick Warywoda said.

“Obviously, we all should be safe to walk into every place we wish to do business,” customer Nancy Graffeo added.

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Warywoda came back to the store, after being turned away Monday by the police activity. Sources said the pipe bomb was found around 4 p.m., was isolated and then removed.

“Thankfully it was dealt with. I pulled in here yesterday and the police had everything cordoned off,” one customer said.

The bomb was believed to be part of a larger plot against the store — with possible theories including an extortion attempt, or a full scale attack timed for the holidays, possibly on Black Friday.

“The first thing that comes to mind is I’m here multiple times a week and sometimes with my little girl, so that’s a little bit unnerving,” customer Ted Kohler said.

On Tuesday, the FBI, along with Suffolk County police, was checking store surveillance video and interviewing employees to find the person responsible.

Home Depot released a statement, which said: “We are cooperating with authorities on their investigation. The safety of our customers and associates is certainly of the utmost importance to us.”

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