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Third Man Scales New York Times Building, Hangs Bin Laden Banner

A man scaled a portion of The New York Times' 52-story headquarters on Wednesday morning, becoming the third person to do so in a span of a few weeks, police said.

The climber made it to the 11th floor of the building in midtown Manhattan before descending to a lower floor and spending hours making cell phone calls and talking to police. He was arrested about 5:30 a.m., police said.

At one point, the climber unfurled a banner on the "T" of the Times' sign that referenced Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden, the Times reported on its Web site Wednesday.

Dozens of police and firefighters responded about 1:30 a.m. after the man was first spotted climbing the building, police said. Streets were closed off and an inflatable cushion was placed in front of the main entrance of the building.

The Daily News reported on its Web site Wednesday that it had received a call from a man identifying himself as the climber who said he was a 29-year-old college dropout from Connecticut. Police did not immediately confirm those reports.

A spokeswoman for the Times, Catherine Mathis, said modifications were made to the building and additional security was added after two climbers managed to scale the building June 5. Both made it to the top and were charged with reckless endangerment, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

The facade of the newly constructed building, which the Times moved into only last year, is covered with slats that allowed the men to climb the tower like a ladder.

Mathis said the company was investigating how the most recent climber was able to overcome the additional obstacles.