The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested a man who allegedly entered a Pennsylvania airport on February 27 and tried to check a bag containing an explosive device. The suspect was later arrested after fleeing the scene, according to authorities.
The would-be bomber, 40-year-old Mark Muffley, was set to fly out of Lehigh Valley International Airport to Orlando Sanford International Airport when a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent noticed the device during a routine screening of his checked bag.
According to ABC News, the circular device hidden in the lining of the suspect’s checked luggage was allegedly only three inches in diameter with two fuses, and contained a powdery substance wrapped in wax paper and plastic wrap.
The outlet went on to state that authorities suspect that “the black powder and flash powder are susceptible to ignite from heat and friction and posed a significant risk to the aircraft and passengers,” a criminal complaint obtained by ABC News stated.
The complaint also noted that, along with the device, Muffley’s bag 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.”
Lehigh Valley International Airport was immediately locked down by airport personnel after the explosive device was discovered. Muffley was also paged over the airport’s intercom following the discovery, but security footage shows the suspect fleeing the airport roughly five minutes after his name was called.
During the airport lockdown, FBI and bomb technicians were able to analyze the object and found that it “was indeed a live explosive device,” according to the TSA.
Muffley, who lives in Lansford, Pennsylvania, was arrested by the FBI later that evening — and was charged with “possession of an explosive in an airport and possessing, or attempting to place, or attempting to have placed an explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft,” ABC News reported. Muffley is set to appear in court on March 2.