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Man arrested at LA airport with inactive explosive

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

LOS ANGELES -- An inactive Army National Guardsman was arrested early Monday after trying to pass a nonfunctioning military explosive through security at Los Angeles International Airport, police said.

A screener became concerned after noticing the device, which resembled an M-80 firecracker, said Los Angeles police Sgt. Greg Glodery.

A Federal Aviation Administration official said the device was found in the man's carryon luggage.

The man, whose name was not immediately released, was arrested at about 6:10 a.m. for investigation of possessing an explosive device. A bomb squad later determined the device was inert, police said.

The man has been detained by the FBI for questioning, airport spokesman Gaby Pacheco said.

No evacuations were ordered at Terminal 6, where the item was discovered, Glodery said. The terminal serves Continental Airlines and portions of United Airlines fleet.

The screening station where the item was noticed in an X-ray machine was temporarily shut down, Glodery said. No flights were delayed, officials said.

In an unrelated incident at New York's La Guardia Airport, a flight that had left for Cleveland was forced to return after it was discovered a passenger was not properly screened. A concourse was evacuated and everyone was screened again. The plane actually took off and was 100 miles out when it was recalled by air traffic controllers.


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