The FBI has arrested a man in Pennsylvania who tried to load an explosive device onto a plane, US officials said on Wednesday. Transportation Security Administration officials found the bomb after a man’s checked luggage set off an alarm at Lehigh Valley International Airport in the city of Allentown, the federal agency said in a statement.
A section of the airport, located about 100 miles (160 kilometres) 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.
According to court filings, the explosive was a round packet of powdered material wrapped in plastic wrap, fitted with a detonator and hidden in the inner lining of the bag.
Local experts have determined that the material is “commercial fireworks compatible,” according to court documents released by media site Axios.
The bag also contained a can of butane, two of his sockets taped together, and a whistle containing “white powdery residue”.
The suspect, identified as Mark Muffley, was arrested at his home after exiting the airport after being summoned by security.