REVEALED: ‘Bomb’ nearly smuggled onto passenger plane in Pennsylvania was commercial-grade firecrackers sewn into boot liner — and arrested man, 40, has a lengthy criminal record that includes harassment, disorderly conduct and fighting
- Mark Muffley, 40, of Lansford, Pennsylvania, was arrested Monday for allegedly planting a ‘bomb’ on an Allegiant flight
- The round device contained a powder used in ‘commercial fireworks’ and had multiple fuses and was found in the lining of the bag
- Muffley has a serious run-in with the law dating back to 2017 for harassment, disorderly conduct and fighting
The “bomb” nearly smuggled onto an Allegiant flight was made from commercial fireworks allegedly sewn into a suitcase liner by a man with a long criminal record.
Mark Muffley, 40, of Lansford, Pennsylvania, was arrested Monday at his home on Abbott Street after allegedly attempting to carry a bomb on a passenger flight at Lehigh Valley International Airport. Muffley is charged with possession of an explosive device at an airport and possession/attempted planting of an explosive device on an aircraft.
The 40-year-old has a long criminal record dating back to 2017, including harassment, disorderly conduct and fighting, according to the Pennsylvania Magistrate court.
Muffley’s bag triggered an alarm before being loaded onto the plane, and the TSA found a “round compound” hidden in the luggage’s liner, the FBI said. The device, which was round in shape, was found in the lining of the bag. It was about three inches in diameter.
The “powder is believed to be a mixture of flash powder and the dark granulate used in commercial-grade fireworks” that was wrapped in wax paper and plastic, the complaint read.
Mark Muffley, 40, of Lansford, Pennsylvania, (pictured on his permit) has been taken into custody by the FBI after attempting to smuggle an explosive device onto an Allegiant flight on Monday
Muffley was about to take an Allegiant flight from eastern Pennsylvania to Sanford, Florida. He has been charged with possessing an explosive device at an airport and possessing, attempting to plant or having placed an explosive device on an aircraft
Two fuses were also attached, one of which appears to have been part of the original manufacture and is used to quickly detonate explosives.
“Connected to the round compound was a ‘fast fuse’ and a ‘hobby fuse,'” the indictment read. ‘A fast fuse is designed to ignite explosives quickly. It turned out to be part of the compound’s original manufacture. A “hobby fuse” is a known regular fuse that burns slower than a fast fuse. The “hobby fuse” appeared to have been added after manufacture.’
The other fuse was added later and burns more slowly than a fast fuse, officials said, adding that the powders can ignite from heat and friction, posing a “significant risk” to the plane and passengers.
Muffley’s bag triggered an alarm before being loaded onto the plane, and the TSA found a “round compound” hidden in the luggage’s liner, the FBI said. The FBI said the device, which had a round shape, was found in the lining of the bag. It was about ten centimeters in diameter and made of firecracker material
Officials say the device was hidden in a checked piece of luggage and contained multiple fuses
Investigators also found in the trunk a can of butane, a lighter, a pipe with white powder residue, a cordless drill and two GFCIs stuck together, the indictment said.
The suspicious package was discovered shortly after 11 a.m. on Monday, and the west side of the airport’s main terminal was closed “as a precaution” around 11:15 a.m. WFMZ.
The ‘bomb’ was removed from the airport. After the removal, the main terminal was released again around 2 p.m.
Once found, Muffley was called to the security desk at around 11:40 a.m., but was later seen on security footage at 11:45 a.m. leaving the airport.
Muffley is due to appear in court on Thursday.
He was arrested Monday at his home on Abbott Street (pictured).