A Pennsylvania man has been charged with possessing an explosive device at an airport and attempting to place it on an aircraft. Marc Muffley, a 40-year-old from Pennsylvania, had checked in a suitcase at Lehigh Valley International Airport on Monday, which was found to contain an explosive device hidden in the lining. Authorities described the device as a “circular compound” about three inches in diameter, containing a granular powder consistent with commercial-grade fireworks, including flash powder and dark granulars.
The device was found to be attached to a quick fuse and a hobby fuse that burns more slowly and appears to have been added after the manufacture of the device. The suitcase 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, raising further concerns about Muffley’s intentions.
After an alert was raised during security screening, the suitcase was examined, and the explosive device was discovered. Muffley was paged over the airport’s public address system, but he was seen leaving the airport shortly thereafter. Later that night, he was traced to a Lansford address and arrested by the FBI.
Muffley is currently in custody pending a probable cause hearing and detention hearing, scheduled for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in Allentown, which he will attend via videoconference. The incident has raised concerns about airport security and the potential for terrorist attacks, highlighting the need for increased security measures and vigilance at airports across the country.
Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have issued statements condemning the incident and pledging to work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of all passengers who fly. As the investigation continues, it is clear that more must be done to prevent such incidents and ensure the safety of all air travelers.