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Man Arrested for Explosive in Bag at Pennsylvania Airport

A Pennsylvania man who allegedly checked a suitcase with an explosive device hidden in the lining on a flight to Florida faces federal criminal charges, reports the Associated Press. Marc Muffley, 40, is charged with possessing an explosive in an airport and possessing or attempting to place an explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft. Prosecutors allege that the material was found in a suitcase Muffley had checked Monday at Lehigh Valley International Airport to Allegiant Air Flight 201, bound for Orlando. After an alert during security screening, the bag was examined and found hidden in the lining was a “circular compound” about three inches in diameter encased in wax-like paper and clear plastic wrap.

An FBI bomb technician X-rayed the compound and concluded that it contained a granular powder consistent with a “commercial grade firework” and “suspected to be a mixture of flash powder and the dark granulars that are used in commercial grade fireworks.” Attached was a “quick fuse” similar to a candle wick — apparently part of the original manufacture of the compound — as well as a “hobby fuse” that burns more slowly and appeared to have been added after the manufacture. Authorities concluded that both 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 baggage also contained “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,” authorities said. Muffley was paged over the airport’s public address system and was seen leaving the airport. He was traced to a Lansford address, where he was arrested by the FBI late Monday night and remains in custody pending a hearing Thursday.


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