Airport agents find smoke grenades in passengers’ luggage

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Another curious case of unusual items in the luggage of passengers about to board a flight came to light recently when inspection agents found a smoke grenade in a suitcase.

The employees of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an aviation security agency in the USA, found the smoke grenade in the suitcase at Washington Dulles International Airport. The owner claimed to police that he believed the device was disabled and did not pose a security risk.

TSA agents found the explosives during the pre-shipment inspection in late September. The bag was deflected by the automatic detection system and when it was opened to inspect its contents, the device labeled “yellow smoke” with a trigger similar to a hand grenade was found.

Image: TSA

The police bomb squad and a TSA explosives specialist were called immediately. Metropolitan Airport Authority police in the US capital followed suit, who told police that he bought the grenade from a military store years ago and that he considers it disabled.

Authorities have confirmed that the device is active and can explode if activated. Even if it were inactive or just a replica, boarding would be prohibited.

There is no information about the identity of the passenger and the measures taken against him. According to television broadcaster Fox News, travelers carrying prohibited items in their luggage can face civil penalties of up to US $ 13,669 and face criminal prosecution under US law.

Prohibited items will not be returned to the owner, even though the smoke grenade is not in itself an illegal item, it only requires a license from ATF – the US Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Authority.

Three times as many weapons at airports

According to the British newspaper The Independent, the number of passengers traveling through US airports with guns in their hand luggage tripled in July 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

TSA administrator David Pekoske told the newspaper that almost all weapons seized at US airports are loaded. “Most worryingly, 80% of the firearms arriving at the TSA checkpoint are loaded. It’s just an accident waiting to happen, ”he said.

In the United States, as in Brazil, firearms can only be carried in checked baggage and unloaded on airplanes. “Passengers need to know that it is an inconvenient and expensive mistake for them to arrive at the airport security checkpoint with a gun, regardless of whether it is in their bag, backpack, pannier or belt,” added Pekoske added.

With information from TSA

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