LOS ANGELES — A security screener at Los Angeles International Airport has been taken into custody after quitting his job and making threats that led officials to clear and search terminals at the airport, the FBI said in a statement today.
Nna Alpha Onuoha, 29, was arrested shortly before midnight Tuesday east of Los Angeles in Riverside, and he remained in custody on suspicion of making threats pending additional investigation.
Authorities searched Onuoha’s minivan early today as part of the investigation, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
Officers cleared the church parking lot where the van was parked, and a KABC-TV news helicopter showed a bomb squad robot conducting a search in and around the vehicle.
A search of Onuoha’s otherwise empty apartment in Inglewood near LAX turned up a note containing unspecified threats that cited today Sept. 11 anniversary. Additional details of the contents of the letter were not immediately provided.
No harmful materials were found at the airport or the man’s apartment, the FBI said.
The Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Squad also inspected a package allegedly left at TSA’s headquarters in the airport after he resigned from his job, and the package was addressed to another agency employee, officials said.
The officers found no harmful contents in the package but turned up an eight-page letter in which Onuoha expressed disdain for the United States and referenced an event that led to a recent suspension from the job he had held since 2006, the FBI said. It was not clear early today what the incident had been.
Later, a man authorities believed to be Onuoha made two phone calls to TSA saying certain airport terminals should be evacuated. During one call, the man told an employee he would be monitoring to see if authorities would evacuate the terminals as instructed.
No threats were found in authorities’ search of the terminals. The airport is the nation’s third busiest airport, according to its website.
A request for comment from the airport was not immediately returned early today.