(PHILADELPHIA) — A 29-year-old-man was taken into police custody Thursday morning at the Philadelphia airport after attempting to board a flight to San Francisco while carrying items that could have been assembled into an explosive device — a vial with a fuse, a plastic bottle filled with explosive powder and three M-80 type fireworks.
Joseph Picklo of Dallas, Pennsylvania told authorities he is a self-employed salesman who “likes to conduct experiments with explosives” and that he was trying to start a business using exploding targets. Picklo told authorities he had “fooled around” with the fireworks and other materials and forgot he had them in his backpack when he attempted to board the flight. He was charged with attempting to carry an explosive device on a plane and transferred into federal custody this afternoon. The federal charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.
FBI officials told ABC News there is no known connection to terrorism, but authorities said some or all of the elements could have been combined to make a bomb. Picklo was detained at 6 a.m. after a suspicious item was seen in a carry-on bag at a security checkpoint as he was headed for a US Airways flight.
Airport operations were only minimally affected. One gate was closed for 20 minutes while police responded. The Philadelphia Police Bomb Squad removed the material to its range for examination.
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Jacqueline Howard, CNN
John Newsome, CNN
Kathryn Vasel, CNN
Dan Merica and Sophie Tatum, CNN