Passengers at a Los Angeles International Airport terminal were briefly delayed May 17 when security officials feared a man might be carrying an explosive package, law enforcement sources said. The man had passed his luggage through a scanner and left the area, officials said. Moments later, Transportation Security Administration officials thought the image looked suspicious and began searching for the passenger, an agency spokesman said. Airport police helped in the search, a Los Angeles Airport Police sergeant said.. Bomb squad experts who examined an image of the man’s luggage later determined the package was not dangerous and the alert was canceled.
Amtrak’s president said he wants to step up security patrols of the passenger rail network and explore new technologies able to provide advance warning of track tampering following revelations that the terrorist group al-Qaida considered attacking U.S. trains. He told a U.S. Senate panel May 17 that the agency has expanded its use of explosive-sniffing dogs and is in close contact with U.S. and international security agencies. The Amtrak president said promising ultrasonic and laser technologies may enable detection of track problems far ahead of trains. But he cautioned that trains are more vulnerable to attack than planes because terrorists have more ability to access trains and track. He said more patrols of tracks are needed to identify specific points of vulnerability.
A Sun Tran bus in Tucson, Arizona was evacuated after a man aboard the bus began talking about bombing and suicide bombing. A Tucson police spokesman said the suspect boarded the bus at the Laos Transit Center near 6th Avenue and Irvington Road. He was carrying a bag and talking to himself about bombs and suicide bombs. The driver of the bus brought the vehicle to a stop near 6th Avenue and 26th Street. He along with all of the riders on the bus exited while the suspect remained aboard. When police arrived, they checked the passenger and bus. However, nothing suspicious was found. The suspect was identified as a man reported missing in California, the police spokesman said.