An Egyptian man was arrested outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday after chemicals in his backpack caught fire, in what authorities said was a botched attack.
No one was harmed in the incident, which took place just outside the heavy blast walls that surround the embassy in Garden City, a leafy neighborhood in the heart of the capital. The U.S. Embassy is next to the British Embassy, which is also heavily fortified.
The Interior Ministry identified the man as 24-year-old Abdullah Ayman Abdel-Sameea, and said his backpack contained a bottle of flammable chemicals. It said he embraced an “extremist” ideology and that he intended to use the material he carried in a “hostile” act.
The ministry did not provide further information to support its accusations.
Video footage posted on social media showed police arresting the man, who was led away after his pants and shoes were stripped off in the search.
The U.S. Embassy said in a tweet that it was “aware of a reported incident” near the embassy and advised American citizens to avoid the area.
The area around the embassy is heavily policed, with concrete barriers blocking vehicular traffic in its immediate vicinity.