US arrests man with explosive device in luggage at Pennsylvania airport

Bomb discovered after man's checked bag set off alarm

The suspect, identified as Mark Muffley, was arrested on Wednesday. Reuters
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The FBI arrested a man who allegedly attempted to bring an explosive device on to a plane in Pennsylvania, US authorities said on Wednesday.

The bomb was discovered by Transportation Security Administration personnel on Monday, after the man's checked bag set off an alarm at Lehigh Valley International Airport in the city of Allentown, the federal agency said.

A section of the airport, about 160km west of New York, was evacuated as a precaution, the TSA said.

“FBI and local law enforcement bomb technicians determined that the item was indeed a live explosive device,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said on Twitter.

The explosive, according to a court filing, was a round package of powder-like substance wrapped in plastic wrap, with a fuse attached and hidden inside the bags lining.

Local experts determined the substance to be “consistent with a commercial grade firework,” said the court filing, which was published by media site Axios.

The bag also contained a can of butane, two power outlets taped together, and a pipe with “white powder residue” on it.

The suspect, identified as Mark Muffley, left the airport after being called to the security desk and was later arrested at his home.

Updated: March 02, 2023, 4:51 AM