December 28, 2010 / 9:29 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Man with bullet parts arrested at Miami airport

* Traveler’s luggage caused small explosion on tarmac

* Man is 37-year-old naturalized US citizen, FBI says

* FBI says it does not see any link to terrorism (Recasts, updates with arrest, details)

By Kevin Gray

MIAMI, Dec 28 (Reuters) - A man traveling with bullet parts in a suitcase was arrested at Miami’s international airport on Tuesday after his luggage caused a small explosion on the tarmac, causing no injuries or damage, authorities said.

Law enforcement officials said they did not believe the incident had any links to terrorism. The FBI described the man as a 37-year-old nationalized U.S. citizen traveling en route to Jamaica. Authorities did not specify his previous nationality.

Authorities detained the man after a baggage handler reported a small explosion while unloading luggage from an American Airlines AMR.N flight that arrived in Miami from Boston.

FBI spokesman Mark Leverock said the man’s luggage contained hundreds of bullet primers -- a key component of bullet cartridges.

“The bag was being taken out by a baggage handler, he put it on the ground and something ignited and hit him in the shoe,” Leverock told Reuters. “One of the primers ignited and then they all ignited,” he added.

“We don’t believe there is a terrorist nexus,” Leverock said.

The arrested man was charged with transportation of hazardous materials and could face up to five years in prison if convicted, Leverock said.

Several gates at the airport were closed for at least two hours while authorities carried out their investigation, Miami airport spokesman Mark Henderson said.

Air traffic at the airport was uninterrupted during the incident.

Additional Reporting by Pascal Fletcher and Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Will Dunham

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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