A man trying to board an aeroplane to Las Vegas was arrested last night after a pipe bomb, knife, fireworks and other suspicious electronics were found in his luggage at a Long Island airport, US authorities said.
Steven Nobles allegedly told authorities he built the pipe bomb using a metal pipe, fuses and gunpowder from M-80 explosives, smokebombs and other fireworks.
His intent, according to a federal complaint, was for the device to “cause a giant smoke cloud, a flash of light and hopefully a loud noise”.
Approximately 500 passengers in the terminal were evacuated during the two-hour ordeal.
The 20-year-old Las Vegas man showed up in court wearing a black T-shirt featuring a machine gun and green glow-in-the-dark skulls, and was promptly denied bail.
“His actions are bizarre. I don’t feel comfortable giving him bail at this time,” US Magistrate Kathleen Tomlinson said in US District Court in Central Islip following his arrest at Long Island’s MacArthur Airport, east of New York City.
Nobles faces charges including carrying a weapon or explosive on an aircraft and up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Nobles denied intending to use the devices on the aeroplane and said he did not know he had the pipe bomb in his bag, telling authorities he inadvertently carried the items to the airport.
The complaint said Nobles was stopped during a routine screening inside the airport terminal before his Southwest Airlines flight to Las Vegas.
The FBI did not return a call seeking comment.