MIDLAND CITY, Ala., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The 5-year-old boy rescued after being held hostage for days in a bunker near Midland City, Ala., was joking and playing with his family, an FBI official said.
The boy, identified only as Ethan, was rescued Monday afternoon when FBI agents rushed the bunker where suspect Jimmy Lee Dykes was holding him. Dykes, 65, was killed in the raid.
Law enforcement officers stormed the bunker after negotiations with Dykes deteriorated and he was seen holding a gun. ABC News said an explosive charge was used to blow open the bunker door.
"I've been to the hospital," FBI Special Agent Steve Richardson said Monday evening. "I visited with Ethan. He is doing fine. He's laughing, joking, playing, eating, the things that you would expect a normal 5- to 6-year-old young man to do."
He's very brave," Richardson said, "he's very lucky and the success story is that he's out safe and doing great."
Ethan was expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday. He will celebrate his sixth birthday Wednesday.
"I would image it's going to be the greatest birthday that family and that little boy has ever experienced and probably will ever experience," local pastor Michael Senn told NBC's "Today."
Law enforcement officials spent days negotiating with Dykes through a ventilation shaft, which was also used to send Ethan comfort items, including a Hot Wheels car, coloring books, cheese crackers, potato chips and medicine.
Officials inserted a high-tech camera into the bunker to monitor Dykes' movements and he was seen holding a gun. They became concerned that Dykes could do something harmful, a law enforcement source with direct knowledge told ABC News Monday.
"Within the past 24 hours, negotiations deteriorated and Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun," the Richardson said. "At this point, the FBI agents fearing the child was in imminent danger, entered the bunker and rescued the child."
During a Monday news briefing, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said Dykes was injured when officers entered the bunker but didn't say how Dykes died. A law enforcement official told NBC News officials were awaiting the medical examiner's report.
The standoff began Jan. 29 after Dykes got on a school bus in Midland City and demanded driver Charles Poland Jr. hand over two children. When Poland protected the children by blocking Dykes' access to the school bus aisle, the gunman fatally shot the driver four times and grabbed the boy, police said.
Report: Napolitano mulls presidential bid
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- If Hillary Clinton isn't in the 2016 U.S. presidential mix, a Washington Post commentary says Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano may be the woman to watch.
Before moving to Washington Napolitano was a well-regarded and popular governor in Arizona. Since arriving in the nation's capital she has made it known she's mulling making a run for higher office, the Post said Monday.
As governor, Napolitano was criticized for not being aggressive enough in addressing the influx of illegal immigrants. But as homeland security secretary, she has an opportunity in which to change that image, including a high-profile tour of the southwest border this week and discussing the resources the Obama administration has allocated to reducing the number of undocumented workers entering the United States.
The Post said immigration overhaul could give Napolitano the chance to put herself at the forefront of an issue of importance to the future of the Democratic Party.
Officials: Al-Qaida in Benghazi attack
BENGHAZI, Libya, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The attackers who killed four U.S. diplomatic personnel in Benghazi, Libya, represented several militant forces, including al-Qaida groups, investigators said.
Col. Abdel Salem Ashour, who heads the Libyan Interior Ministry's criminal investigations department, said he thinks the attack was quickly planned by smaller groups with different nationalities among its membership, McClatchy Newspapers first reported Monday.
"Islamist groups have their own agendas, and they have the ability to gather and mobilize. They exploit the lack of security," he said.
Army Gen. Carter Ham, head of the U.S. military's Africa Command, told McClatchy the attackers almost certainly included members of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Qaida's North Africa affiliate.
"I believe there are individuals who participated in the attacks in Benghazi who had at least some affiliation with AQIM [al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb]," Ham told McClatchy. "I don't interpret from that that this was AQIM-directed or even an AQIM-inspired or -supported effort. But the connection is there. And I think that what I am wrestling with is: What is the connection with all these various individuals or groups?"
The case had been turned over to a judge in Tripoli, Ashour said, indicating suspects may have been identified. However, he said no arrests have been made since the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Ham and Ashour said they're still trying to determine what motivated the attack, saying they thought anger over the killing of a top al-Qaida official by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan was a factor.
"There are some indications that was part of the motivation for some of those who participated in the attack. Whether it was the compelling reason or not, I think, is hard to say," Ham said.
Ashour said protests in Egypt over an inflammatory video produced in the United States that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad may have motivated smaller groups, McClatchy said.
"Each group used [the assault] for its own interests," Ashour said. "One used it for the film and another used it for the leader that was killed. And there were other thieves who used it for the sake of stealing."
The assault prompted several U.S. congressional investigations into why the two U.S. compounds in Benghazi -- the consulate and the CIA station in eastern Libya -- were poorly defended. Defense Secretary Defense Leon Panetta and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will testify Thursday before the Senate Armed Services panel.
Japan lodges formal protest with China
TOKYO, Jamaica, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A formal protest was lodged with the Chinese government Tuesday over an incident involving Chinese and Japanese warships, Japan's government said.
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said that a Chinese frigate directed its fire-control radar at a Japanese destroyer Jan. 30 near disputed islands in the East China Sea, The New York Times reported.
The uninhabited island group known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China has been controlled by Japan for decades but China and Taiwan claim it.
The Japanese Defense Ministry also disclosed Tuesday that a Chinese frigate directed the same kind of radar at a Japanese military helicopter in a previously undisclosed incident that occurred on Jan. 19.
The ministry said in both cases the Chinese ships eventually turned off their radar without actually firing a shot.
The use of such radar was a threatening gesture that represented an increase in tensions, Japan said.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]