Man arrested after explosive found in luggage at US airport

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FBI agents have arrested a man who allegedly brought an explosive device to a Pennsylvania airport on Monday. 

Mark Muffley, 40, is accused of putting the device in his checked bag for a flight to Orlando, Florida. 

He fled the airport after his name was called over the loud speaker, agents say, and was arrested at home later that evening. 

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials say they spotted the device during a routine screening. 

Officials say Mr Muffley checked in for Allegiant Air Flight 201 at Lehigh Valley International Airport, 65 miles (105km) north of Philadelphia, on Monday morning. 

About an hour later, TSA screeners discovered the suspicious item and called FBI specialists, including a bomb technician, to examine the device. 

In charging documents, FBI bomb technician Jared Witmier said a 3 inch (7.5cm) device hidden in the lining of the suspect’s rolling suitcase was found to contain fuses and explosive powder. 

There was a quick fuse, which appeared to be a part of the original manufacture of the compound, and a hobby fuse, which seemed to have been added post-manufacture, according to the criminal complaint.

The “powder is suspected to be a mixture of flash powder and the dark granulars that are used in commercial grade fireworks”, the FBI court document says. 

“The black powder and flash powder are susceptible to ignite from heat and friction and posed a significant risk to the aircraft and passengers.”

The bag also contained “a can of butane, a lighter, a pipe with white powder residue, a wireless drill with cordless batteries” and two circuit breakers that were taped together. 

Five minutes after he was paged over the airport loud speaker, Mr Muffley was seen by security cameras leaving the airport, the court papers say. He was traced to his home in Lansford, Pennsylvania, later on Monday. 

He is charged with possession of an explosive in an airport and possessing or attempting to place an explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft. 

He is due in court on Thursday. 

Source : BBC

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