Bomb Scare on Air Jamaica Flight 80

A crazy man was arrested at Orlando’s airport yesterday with some interesting things in his bag.

Kevin Brown Jamaica Plane Bomber A Jamaican man behavior specialists spotted acting suspiciously was detained and arrested after components used to make pipe bombs, unknown liquids and bomb-making literature were found in his luggage at Orlando International Airport. Officials said federal behavior identification agents noticed something about the man’s body language that prompted officers to move in near the Virgin Atlantic and Jamaica Airlines ticket counters Tuesday afternoon.

The passenger, who the FBI identified as Kevin Brown, 32, was immediately taken into custody and a portion of the Terminal A in front of Virgin Atlantic was closed to passengers.

During a search of Brown’s luggage, airport authorities found two galvanized pipes, end caps, two small containers containing BBs, batteries, two containers with an unknown liquid and bombing making literature, FBI officials said.Brown faces charges of carrying a weapon or explosive on an aircraft.

“This appears to have been a serious matter with the potential for tragic consequences, and the incident is being thoroughly investigated,” ranking member on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure U.S. Rep. John Mica said in a written statement. “It’s probably one of the most serious security incidents at Orlando International Airport ever.”

So . . . during the two hour flight between Orlando and Montego Bay, he was going to teach himself how to make a pipe bomb, assemble said bomb, and detonate it?

One would think one of the other passengers might have caught on, no? If I’m sitting next to a fellow who pulls out a book entitled “How to Make a Pipe Bomb and Blow Up a Plane,” I’m going to be somewhat curious. And, certainly, if he then pulls out some pipes and BBs, I’m going to measures to ensure he doesn’t complete his intended task.

via memeorandum

Kevin Brown Jamaica Plane Bomber Police Photo Kevin Brown, 32, is charged with attempting to carry an explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft. (SEMINOLE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE) UPDATE: Bill Jempty passes on an Orlando Sentinel report that the materials in question were going to be checked luggage: “A Jamaican planning to board a flight at Orlando International Airport was detained and questioned by FBI agents Tuesday after they found components for pipe bombs and explosive and flammable liquids in his checked luggage.”

Obviously, that would have complicated his efforts to assemble the bomb while in flight.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. DaveD says:

    I think the point is that he probably should not make it on the plane in the first place. It seems more inconvenient to finally catch on to this guy AFTER he has started assembling his explosive next to you 32,000 feet in the air.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I think the point is that he probably should not make it on the plane in the first place.

    Oh, no doubt. Then again, we undergo massive inconvenience and waste of man-hours on a daily basis on the incredibly off chance that some nut is smuggling a bomb aboard a plane.

  3. Bithead says:

    So … during the two hour flight between Orlando and Montego Bay, he was going to teach himself how to make a pipe bomb, assemble said bomb, and detonate it?

    Add to this the relatively minor complication of getting into the cargo hold, where the cases would have been stowed. (Reports I’m hearing suggest that this stuff was not bound for carry-on…)

  4. FredW says:

    And if the “unknown liquids” turn out to be aftershave, could he be charged with anything?

  5. Steve Plunk says:

    The guy was transporting bomb making materials. Either he is a criminal, terrorist, or loony. I don’t want him on my plane.

    Perhaps he had a plan to retrieve his luggage without having to go back through security. Perhaps he was just going to build the bomb in Jamaica and kill a few people. Perhaps we just don’t know enough to make a complete judgment on what was going on.

    This is a serious incident and should be treated as such.

  6. Bill H says:

    Arresting the guy and preventing him from flying is one thing. making statements like “It’s probably one of the most serious security incidents at Orlando International Airport ever.” is quite another. The first is law enforcement. The second is demagoguery and stupidity.

  7. Grewgills says:

    Arresting the guy and preventing him from flying is one thing. making statements like “It’s probably one of the most serious security incidents at Orlando International Airport ever.” is quite another. The first is law enforcement. The second is demagoguery and stupidity.

    or, perhaps the bar is really that low.