Man in Walmart parking lot threatens to blow up sheriff’s office in Conroe, deputies say

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CONROE, Texas — A man is behind bars after discussing his plan to blow up a sheriff’s office headquarters while standing in a supermarket parking lot Tuesday afternoon in Conroe, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said.

Danyal Arafat is no stranger to local law enforcement and has had several encounters with the law as a result of a mental condition, deputies said.

Arafat was working on his 1970’s model Volkswagen outside the Walmart off the North Freeway at Highway 242 around 1 p.m. when someone came up to ask him about the vehicle, investigators said. He is accused of handing the witness a bag of money and then asking him to go inside the store and purchase shotgun shells and model rocket motors.

Arafat told the witness he was turning his van bomb and planned to crash it into the nearby sheriff’s office, deputies said. He also said he wanted to make other bombs and mustard gas, officers said.

The witness notified deputies, and officers and canine units swarmed the parking lot and formed a perimeter around the area, investigators said. While the Arafat was bent over the rear engine compartment of the van, officers snuck up behind him and detained him.

After a thorough search, investigators said no bomb-making materials were found inside the van.

He was charged with felony terroristic threat due to the severity of the allegations, but investigators doubt Arafat presents any real danger.