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DEVELOPING: Man Arrested For Allegedly Placing Explosive Device in Checked Luggage at Pennsylvania Airport


According to a criminal complaint, an explosive device was found in checked luggage at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley International Airport on Monday.

Federal officials arrested Mark Muffley of Lansford, Pennsylvania, who is now in FBI custody.

Muffley reportedly was traveling from Pennsylvania to Florida’s Orlando Sanford International Airport.

“The FBI says this man packed an explosive device in his checked suitcase on a flight from Pennsylvania to Florida. TSA found it during screening. The device had multiple fuses, explosive powder, batteries, and power outlets. It was concealed in the lining of the bag,” according to ABC News journalist Sam Sweeney.



ABC News reported:

The device hidden in the bag’s lining was a circular compound, about 3 inches in diameter, that had two fuses and powder concealed in wax paper and plastic wrap, 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 complaint said. “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 had “a can of butane, a lighter, a pipe with white powder residue, a wireless drill with cordless batteries, and two GFCI outlets taped together with black tape,” the complaint said.

An airport spokesperson said the suspicious package was discovered shortly after 11 a.m. Monday and the west side of the airport’s main terminal was shut down.

WFMZ added:

According to an affidavit from the FBI, an alarm went off during the TSA’s screening, so officials did a physical inspection. They found a circular compound, around three inches in diameter, “wrapped in a wax-like paper and clear plastic wrap.” It was hidden in the lining of the luggage.

The TSA called the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Police Department. The PD then contacted the FBI.

A special agent identified the circular compound as containing “a granular type of powder” that was “consistent with a commercial grade firework.”

It had a “quick fuse” and a “hobby fuse,” meaning a slower fuse that appeared to be added after it was manufactured.

The special agent called it an “explosive.”

In the luggage was also found a can of butane, a lighter, a pipe with white powder residue, a wireless drill with cordless batteries, and two electrical outlets.

Officials paged Muffley over the airport’s public address system to report to security. Five minutes later, security cameras captured Muffley leaving the airport.



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