U.S. News

Jamaican charged with bomb parts in luggage in court

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A Jamaican detained at a Florida airport after bomb parts were found in his luggage said he intended to blow up a pipe bomb on a tree stump in Jamaica and to show his friends how to make explosives like those used in Iraq, U.S. investigators said on Wednesday.

Kevin Brown in an undated photo released by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. REUTERS/Handout

Kevin Brown, 32, who was arrested at Orlando International Airport on Tuesday, made an initial court appearance, standing silently in a white jail jumpsuit and leg shackles before U.S. Magistrate Karla Spaulding.

Spaulding scheduled a bond hearing for Thursday at which Assistant U.S. Attorney Vincent Citro said he will provide some details on the case.

In an affidavit, FBI agent Kelly Boaz said two galvanized pipes, end caps with holes drilled in them, two prescription bottles containing air gun pellets, a model rocket igniter, batteries, lighters, lighter fluid and two bottles of nitromethane were found in Brown’s luggage.

Investigators also found bomb-making instructions in his backpack. Nitromethane is a liquid commonly used as a solvent and cleaning agent, and can be used to manufacture explosives.

“Brown told us, among other things, that he bought the items in the baggage in Gainesville, Florida, and intended to use them to build a pipe bomb,” Boaz’s affidavit read.

“Brown initially said that he was going to detonate the device on a tree stump in Jamaica but later told us he was going to show friends how to build explosive devices like the kind he saw in Iraq.”

FBI spokesman David Couvertier said in a statement that the agency was still trying to confirm Brown’s identity, particularly his date of birth. Law enforcement officials said they were trying to establish if Brown was a U.S. Army veteran.

Brown was detained while attempting to check his luggage on Air Jamaica flight 80 to Montego Bay after a “behavior detection officer” keeping watch for suspicious activity singled him out for closer inspection, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

The FBI said initial record checks indicated Brown was in the United States legally.

The incident caused some flight delays at Orlando International Airport after a portion of the terminal was evacuated for several hours.

Editing by Michael Christie and Bill Trott