LAX security screener quits job, makes Sept 11 threats

The TSA won't detail why the Nigerian security screener had recently been suspended from LAX (pictured). Photo / Thinkstock
The TSA won't detail why the Nigerian security screener had recently been suspended from LAX (pictured). Photo / Thinkstock

A security screener at Los Angeles International Airport was arrested hours after quitting his job for making unspecified threats referencing today's Sept. 11 anniversary, prompting officials to clear and search terminals, the FBI said.

Nothing was found late last night, and there were no major disruptions to flights. The former screener, Nna Alpha Onuoha, 29, was arrested just before midnight local time for investigation of making threats.

Onuoha, originally from Nigeria, had worked for the Transportation Security Administration since 2006 but was suspended recently, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. He showed up at LAX yesterday afternoon, resigned from his job and left behind a package at TSA's airport headquarters that was addressed to another agency employee, she said.

A bomb squad found no explosives or harmful contents in the package but discovered an eight-page letter in which Onuoha expressed disdain for the US and referenced the event that led to his suspension, Eimiller said.

It was not clear yesterday why TSA suspended him.

The TSA did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking information on Onuoha.

Later, a man believed to be Onuoha made two phone calls to TSA saying certain airport terminals should be evacuated, Eimiller said. During one call, the man told an employee he would "be watching" to see if authorities evacuated the terminals as instructed.

A search of Onuoha's apartment, near LAX, found no dangerous materials but did turn up a note containing unspecified threats that cited the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, authorities said. Additional details from the letter were not immediately provided.

Onouha was arrested about 105 kilometres away in Riverside. The church parking lot where his minivan was parked was cleared and a bomb squad robot conducted a search in and around the vehicle. Nothing dangerous was found.


-AP

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