MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — An official in Texas says a man has been detained after entering an airport in Midland with explosives in military-grade wrapping.
City of Midland spokeswoman Tasa Watts said Saturday she had no information on the suspect, who was taken into custody by the FBI. An FBI spokesman did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press.
Watts says the explosives were found as the man was going into a terminal at Midland International Airport. [...]
Will update ASAP.
The incident happened at 9:26 a.m. Saturday. The suspect is active military and the explosives were found in his carry-on bag while going through the X-ray machine.
Authorities said the man was in town seeing family. [...]
Sources told CBS Affiliate KOSA that the man was traveling with his wife and children to North Carolina.
The Midland Police bomb squad told KOSA that the suspect is in the U.S. military. Security agents found the explosives in the man’s carry-on bag when it was going through the X-ray machine.
There is no word on why the suspect was carrying C-4, though one source says it may have been brought to the airport by mistake. [...]
If it was a mistake, it was a BIG one.
(AP) –FBI spokesman Mike Martinez confirmed a man was detained at the airport and the agency is investigating.
He declined to say whether the man was in military uniform or how many pieces of explosives were found in the bag.
Martinez said he did not know where the man was being held, saying he was at either the airport or at the FBI office in Midland. [...]
He had been in town visiting family with wife and kids in tow. And was caught with the explosives in his bag as he was preparing to board his flight back home.Â Odd that…
“The man had been in town visiting family and was traveling back to North Carolina,” the report said, citing local police. It added that the suspect remained in custody and the incident was still under investigation.
Odessa [Texas] America Online:
Midland International Airport was evacuated for about an hour Saturday morning after Transportation Security Administration officials found military-grade explosives in a serviceman’s carry-on bag.
Midland Police bomb technician Sgt. Brian Rackow would not elaborate on what type of explosives were found, but only said they were located when a man and his family were going through the security checkpoint before boarding their plane.
The suspect has identified himself to investigating officials as active military and was in the Permian Basin to visit his family, Rackow said. The suspect and his family were on their way back to his base in North Carolina and he has been cooperative with FBI investigators, who were in charge of the case, Rackow said.
So he obtained the explosives while in Texas and was transporting them back to his base in North Carolina??? Surely a US Soldier knows better than to attempt to carry on a bag with military grade explosives…right? My Spidey senses are tingling. I hope they are off track.
Authorities said the man was bound for a base in North Carolina, where he is on active military duty.
He was visiting his mother who lives in Midland.
An American Airlines spokesman said the man had a reservation on Flight 3283 from Midland to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The departure time for the American Eagle plane was 9:45 a.m.
What is his name?
Update 7: Perp identified.
Trey Scott Atwater of Hope Mills [North Carolina --Ed.]was taken into federal custody Saturday morning after Transportation Security Administration agents spotted what they described as a suspicious item.
Atwater has been arrested on a federal count of attempting to get on an aircraft with an explosive, Morgan said.
Odessa America Online:
(March 17, 2010) The Permian Basin Welcome Home Committee is rounding up people to greet Staff Sgt. Trey Atwater of the U.S. Army.
He is the son of Bonnie Awater of Midland and is a 1999 graduate of Midland Lee High School. His wife, Tamra, and his two sons, Trent and Ty, will accompany Atwater.
Atwater is a Green Beret and is scheduled for a third tour of duty in Afghanistan in July.
According to court documents, Atwater told the FBI he is a demolitions expert who returned from his third deployment to Afghanistan in April. He said his Army special forces team always carried at least two blocks of C4, but he didn’t know any explosives were in his bag when he returned to his post at Fort Bragg, N.C.
He said he didn’t see any explosives in the main compartment of the bag when he packed for his trip to Texas. The bag had been in his garage and hadn’t been used since he returned from overseas, according to court documents.
Atwater was detained at the Fayetteville, N.C., airport on Dec. 24 when security agents found a military smoke grenade in his carry-on bag, according to court documents. The documents don’t say whether officials now suspect C-4 may have been in his bag then but was missed during additional screening, or whether the C-4 was found in the same bag as the grenade, although a week later and at a different airport.
After the grenade was confiscated, Atwater was “admonished” and allowed to continue on to Texas, the documents said.
A neighbor who lives two doors down, Pam Moore, 55, said she watched Atwater grow up. She said he was a “wonderful kid” who played high school football.
“We were real proud of him when he joined the military,” Moore said. “I feel sorry that he got caught up in this. … I just hope everything works out for him. I really do. [...]
(Reuters) – An Army demolitions expert who was arrested New Year’s Eve for trying to carry explosives onto a commercial airplane in Texas was ordered released Friday on a $50,000 unsecured bond.
Atwater told the FBI he was unaware the explosives were in his bag, which he grabbed from his North Carolina home when he prepared to fly home to Texas for the Christmas holidays. Airport screeners apparently failed to detect the C-4 on the outbound flight.
Prosecutors said Atwater did not pose a flight risk, and his military escorts agreed to report any bond violations.
“The government has uncovered no information that would suggest that Atwater intended harm to any aircraft, or to the flying public,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Klassen said in a brief court hearing. “The government believes that with close supervision by the court and by the United States Army, Sergeant Atwater will not pose a danger.”
Atwater is a member of the Army Special Forces Engineers and a munitions expert. He is an instructor at the Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg.
Please refresh page for updates.