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TSA confiscates gunpowder at Honolulu Airport

  • Two 1-pound cans of black powder shown here were confiscated by TSA agents at Honolulu International Airport on May 8. Black powder is a prohibited hazardous material. (Courtesy TSA)

Routine screening of checked baggage at Honolulu Airport last week turned up two one-pound cans of black powder which were confiscated.

Transportation Security Administration said the two cans of rifle powder were discovered May 8 in a bag bound for a United Airlines flight to Chicago.

Law enforcement officers took possession of the containers for final disposition as the hazardous material is not permitted aboard flights. The discovery was made after the bag was checked in and not at a TSA passenger check point.

The passenger was not arrested or detained.

Last week, the FBI also held a passenger at Hilo Airport for questioning when he tried to check in luggage containing what appeared to be a modified pressure cooker. The item was found May 8 during a security screening. The man was not arrested and no explosives were found.

The find occurred after two bombs made from pressure cookers killed three people and injured more than 260 at the Boston Marathon on April 15.

The gunpowder was mentioned among the confiscated items in a TSA report for the week ending May 10. The same report said of 50 firearms confiscated nationwide in that period, 45 were loaded. 

Five knives so far have been confiscated this past year by the TSA at island airports.

» On April 26, a female passenger headed for Idaho on an American Airlines flight hid a knife with a 4-inch blade inside a hair brush at Maui Airport. The passenger was cleared to fly by law enforcement officers, but the knife was confiscated by TSA.

» On April 11 at Lihue Airport, an 83-year-old United Airlines passenger hid his 3 1⁄2-inch pocketknife in an empty toothbrush container because he was afraid it would be confiscated. The passenger was allowed to continue of his trip, but he lost the pocket knife.

»  On Jan. 20, a man tried to smuggle three knives in a thermos on a Hawaiian Airlines flight at Honolulu Airport. At the initial checkpoint, the passenger was permitted to leave the area with the knives to put them into his checked baggage. Instead, the man attempted to sneak them through in the thermos. The knives were confiscated and the passenger was allowed to book a later flight to Hilo.

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