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Man charged over airport explosives

MIDLAND, Texas - Authorities have charged a member of the US military who was arrested after trying to go through a security checkpoint at a Texas airport with explosives in military-grade wrapping, the FBI said yesterday.

Trey Scott Atwater, 30, was stopped at security at the Midland International Airport about 9 a.m. Saturday. FBI spokesman Mike Martinez said Atwater is being held at the Midland County jail and has been charged with trying to bring explosives onto an airplane.

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He will remain in custody at least until his arraignment tomorrow because the courts are closed today for the holiday, Martinez said.

Atwater and his wife and family had been visiting relatives in the area and were on their way back to his base in North Carolina, according to local media reports. He had a reservation on American Eagle Flight 3283, scheduled to depart 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

It’s unclear whether Atwater was in military uniform at the time he was detained, or how many explosives were in the bag.

The Transportation Security Administration issued a statement saying one of its officers spotted a suspicious item in a carry-on bag during X-ray screening. The agency said the checkpoint was closed for about an hour while officers investigated and removed the item.

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