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November 27, 2006
Bomb Parts Found In Rental Car At MSP Airport

Early yesterday, an Avis employee found the makings of a bomb in a returned rental car in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport, triggering an FBI investigation on one of the busiest travel days of the year. The device contained shrapnel, wires, and tubing, but fortunately no explosives:

A bomb-like device was found in a rental car Sunday morning at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, shutting down part of the Lindbergh terminal parking ramps for about two hours.

The Bloomington police bomb squad examined and blew up the device. FBI agents interviewed the man who rented the car after he arrived on the West Coast on Sunday. He said that the device was not a bomb and that he didn't mean to leave it behind, said Pat Hogan, airport spokesman. ...

An Avis service employee, who was doing routine cleaning and checks of the car after it was returned about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, found the device in a cargo compartment in the trunk of a hatchback car. The worker called the airport police because it looked suspicious.

The device, which was loose in the compartment, included tubes, wires and shrapnel, airport officials said.

My first thought is that I'm glad I heard about it this morning rather than yesterday afternoon, when we boarded a flight back home from our vacation in Southern California. My second thought is that the person who rented the car and left the device in the trunk had better hope that he has a dozen or so character witnesses that can testify to his stupidity, rather than any malice. It seems rather implausible that anyone would be dumb enough to bring a rental car back to an airport with bomb parts in the trunk, but it's impossible to underestimate the foolishness of people in general.

By the time we arrived, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Traffic was lighter than usual, if anything. I saw no signs of increased security, and I usually notice when they beef it up. If the FBI is still investigating, they apparently had not found anything to make them more nervous about securing the airport.

NOTE: I should add that posting will be limited today due to my late-night return from California yesterday.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 27, 2006 5:26 AM

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Tracked on November 27, 2006 3:50 PM


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