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FBI responds to hospital threat

Last modified: 10/10/2010 12:00:00 AM
Threats made to Concord Hospital about the time of a protest there Friday prompted a response from the FBI and the state police's bomb sniffing dogs, an FBI agent said yesterday.

On Thursday, the newborn daughter of an Epsom couple was seized by police officers and state social workers because authorities said the girl's father, Johnathan Irish, had a history of beating his fiancee and her two other children.

The affidavit also noted that Irish is 'associated with a militia known as the Oath Keepers and had purchased several different types of weapons including a rifle, handgun and Taser.'

Irish interpreted this as a reason that authorities had taken his child, and his case quickly garnered support from the online Libertarian community. On Friday afternoon, about 20 people who had never met Irish gathered at the hospital in protest.

About the time of the protest, an FBI agent and a state bomb-sniffing dog team did a sweep on the hospital property in response to threats made to the hospital, said Kieran Ramsey, supervisory special agent to FBI officers in New Hampshire.

Ramsey declined to discuss the nature of the threats.

The hospital 'felt that at the time the threats warranted some precautionary measures and getting law enforcement involved,' he said.

The search of the hospital grounds turned up nothing, said Pamela Puleo, the hospital's vice president for community affairs. Staff were told of the search so as to allay any fears of visitors or patients, she said, and there have been no problems since.

'Things are pretty quiet as compared to (Friday),' Puleo said. 'We worked hard to make sure everybody's feeling reassured and safe and calm.'

(Matthew Spolar can be reached at 369-3309 or mspolar@cmonitor.com.)


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