Bomb-Carrying Teen Gives Up Bomb, Allowed to Board Flight

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Canadian authorities are investigating the case of n teenager who was apparently allowed to board a flight even after security found a pipe bomb in his carry-on. Using gunpowder obtained from an undisclosed source, 18-year-old Skylar Murphy of Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada, and a buddy made two pipe bombs. Boys being boys with explosives, they detonated one in a field. Saving the other for later, Murphy stuffed the 15-centimeter by five-centimeter tube, with its three-meter fuse, into a camera bag and ostensibly forgot about it until he was carrying the camera bag and bomb through security at the Edmonton, Alberta Airport. An alert Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) guard found the bomb. Being polite, he tried to return the explosive device to Murphy. According to CBC News Edmonton, Murphy declined the offer and told the guard to keep it. Murphy then joined his family on their flight to Mexico for a vacation.

CATSA personnel waited four days after Murphy’s excursion through security to disclose it to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Things then figuratively blew up for all concerned. Upon his return to Edmonton, Murphy was greeted by a “large number of uniformed troops, a SWAT team and bomb-sniffing dogs.” He was eventually convicted of possessing an explosive device and fined $100. Criticism was directed at CATSA from virtually anyone who could find a microphone or computer, including Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, who said that the individual should not have been allowed to board his flight. CATSA spokesperson Mathieu Larocque said that the officers involved were suspended and given additional training before returning to work. He also said that training materials and procedures have been updated. When contacted by CBC News, Mr. Murphy replied that “what has been published is not at all an accurate portrayal of what happened.”