Stuck bags at L.A. and Dulles airports prompt lockdowns

The Los Angeles Times reports that the country’s busiest airport briefly shut down on Tuesday night due to fears that a piece of equipment had malfunctioned. Surveillance footage appears to show a man pulling a black duffel bag from a stairwell, possibly carrying luggage. Police found nothing suspect. This incident followed last week’s bag discovery at JFK and another at L.A.X. Security was also put on high alert at Washington Dulles Airport due to a similar incident, though officials said this one didn’t involve a suspicious bag. All three involve an overheated Omicron, a cylindrical device that includes two small batteries. In 2014, Customs and Border Protection allegedly tested an Omicron on an Egyptian national at JFK, noting the terror group ISIS used a similar device to plant bombs on shipping ships. The device’s precise dimensions are unknown, but it is a “strenuous magnet for lithium cells” that can be “reactivated in an instant.” Omicron devices can be found in airports around the world, though the Los Angeles Times notes its particular threat is the fact that there are few known chemical breakdowns on Omicron, which means nobody knows what’s inside.

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.


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