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Explosives Found in JFK Luggage Check

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Explosives Found in JFK Luggage Check

Old 15th Sep 2004, 03:46
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Explosives Found in JFK Luggage Check

An earlier incident had fatal consequences:



Contractor's Bag Full of Explosives at JFK


Published: September 14, 2004

Filed at 11:16 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- A government contractor brought highly explosive Soviet munitions on his trip home from Afghanistan that were not detected until he arrived at John F. Kennedy airport, federal officials said.

Shaun Marshall, a medic for defense contractor DynCorp, arrived at Kennedy Aug. 19 from the United Arab Emirates. He was trying to board a United Airlines flight home to California when he was pulled aside for a routine security check.

A search of his bags by federal screeners found what police bomb technicians described in an FBI complaint as a Soviet ``projectile point detonating fuse'' and a ``surface-to-air and air-to-air cartridge.''

Federal officials said they could not comment Tuesday on the risk that the munitions posed to the flight. But the city police bomb squad determined the munitions were ``highly explosive,'' according to the FBI complaint.

Marshall also had five .50-caliber bullets and four small arms cartridges, which he did not declare to United as required by law, according to the complaint made public Tuesday.

The Transportation Security Administration officers who searched Marshall's bags called police for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport.

``The fact that TSA located these explosives indicated the system is working,'' Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence Ferazani said.

Marshall, 26, told officers he was importing the munitions, which he believed to be inert, for use in DynCorp training exercises, and Port Authority police released him, federal officials said.

The FBI sent agents to arrest Marshall at his Riverside, Calif., home after the bomb squad analyzed the munitions and DynCorp officials said Marshall had no involvement in its training operations.

A Port Authority spokesman said he could not comment on why Marshall was released.

Marshall was released on bail in California and was expected to fly to New York City to be arraigned in federal court Friday.

He faces charges of placing explosives on an aircraft and trying to place ammunition on a domestic flight without notifying the carrier. He could face 20 years in prison if convicted.

Marshall's attorney declined to comment Tuesday.

DynCorp employees were warned not to bring dangerous materials back to the United States, company spokesman Mike Dickerson said.
Airbubba is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2004, 09:54
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It just defies belief that some people try it on like this. The BBC report is particularly jarring. What if it had happened in the air? Why is there not better screening for these kind of devices at the departure point?

To take an explosive device as a "souvenier" from a war zone is staggering idiocy.

These incidents always raise plenty of questions. We need common sense, practical answers.
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 10:28
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In 1982 I was watching a young bloke inspect the target area of a recent firefight. I noticed him pick up an unexploded 81mm mortar. Before I could shout to warn him, there was nothing left of him but a thick cloud of black smoke.
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 10:33
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I cannot believe that a government contractor would or could be so incomprehensibly idiotic in his actions. He definately needs to bare the wrath of the authorities and at the least, lose his 'role' with the government.

As for the photographer, pure lunacy.

There is too much ongoing and increasing potential danger for all the airlines, their crew and their passengers already without lapse security checks. Unfortunately it was the poor security guard that bore the brunt, but I don't want to (and I'm sure no-one else does) imagine the outcome if he hadn't checked it and it had gone off onboard mid flight.

The world is getting scarier and scarier. If this can happen 'unintentionally', then what it someone wanted to do it 'intentionally' as terrorists. Security should be as tight as it can be and not as tight as is 'comfortable' as with many airports still.

Full marks to any security that pick up on these people and items, but for those that are picked up, we all know there are more that get through although the vast majority of those are innocent passengers with no malicious intent and carrying onboard minor items such as toothpicks, penknives, etc.
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 12:10
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Then there was the dork who brought his son a model rocket kit from America to India. This was before 9/11 but he somehow managed to ge it aboard a flight (can't remember which airline).
The kit contained solid propellant and an electric fuse. So much for security in America, at least in those days.
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 17:17
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I remember during Desert Storm that many toys slipped through the checks.
Mostly harmless stuff.
Since 911 these people should know better.
Their is a proper way to ship items if authorised to do so.
The Dangerous Goods manual is a good place to start.
This guy was way out of line to even attempt this.
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