Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Man with explosives held at airport

Security officers with an explosives transport box at the Midland International Airport in Midland, Texas (AP)

A man was detained after trying to go through a security checkpoint at a Texas airport with explosives in military-grade wrapping, federal and local officials said.

The man was stopped at a security checkpoint at the Midland International Airport and taken into custody by the FBI, they said.

FBI spokesman Mike Martinez declined to say whether the man was in military uniform or how many explosives were found in the bag.

He said he did not know where the man was being held, saying he was at either the airport or at the FBI office in Midland.

Police Sergeant Brian Rackow told the Midland Reporter-Telegram and Odessa American that the man identified himself to investigating officials as being active in the military. He and his family had been in the area visiting relatives and were on their way back to his base in North Carolina, Rackow said.

City spokeswoman Tasa Watts said she had no information on the suspect but the explosives were wrapped in military-grade wrapping. She said the specific grade will not be known until the explosives are tested.

The Transportation Security Administration issued a statement saying one of its officers spotted a suspicious item in a carry-on bag during X-ray screening.

It said the checkpoint was closed for about an hour while officers investigated and removed the item.

Ms Watts said the man was entering a terminal when he was stopped, and a sweep was done to clear that terminal before normal operations resumed.

An American Airlines spokesman said the man had a reservation on Flight 3283 from Midland to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

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