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Suspicious package at Montreal airport; 1 held

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BENJAMIN SHINGLER | October 28, 2013 02:31 PM EST | AP

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MONTREAL (AP) — A 71-year-old man who was headed to Los Angeles was detained after parts that could be used for a bomb were found in his carry-on luggage at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport, police said.

The man was questioned by investigators and will face charges Monday afternoon, police spokesman Ian Lafreniere said Monday. Police are recommending to the prosecutor that he be charged with illegal possession of an explosive substance and endangering the safety of an aircraft or airport.

The man's name has not been released because no charges have been filed yet.

Police said they searched the suspect's apartment and car in a residential area near the airport Sunday evening. They seized some documents but Lafreniere said they have found "nothing obvious" so far.

The city's SWAT team was called in and authorities set up a security perimeter spanning several city blocks during the search. About 20 residents were temporarily evacuated from their homes.

The package was spotted at a security checkpoint in the U.S. departures area early Sunday morning. The items in the package were not explosives.

"It was different parts of a potential device. To make that a little clearer, let's say you are trying to do a bomb inside the luggage, but one thing was missing: no explosives, but it was different parts of a dangerous device," Lafreniere said.

He didn't say what specifically the parts were. The suspect, who had a plane ticket for Los Angeles, was detained.

Everyone on the flight was questioned, and luggage was searched as a precaution, Lafreniere said.

Flights leaving to the United States were delayed for several hours on Sunday morning but an airport spokeswoman said flight operations had resumed by early in the afternoon.


Associated Press writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.