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US soldier says he forgot explosives in carry-on

05 january 2012, 10:52
Baggage screeners inspect luggage in the airport. ©REUTERS/Vincenzo Pinto
Baggage screeners inspect luggage in the airport. ©REUTERS/Vincenzo Pinto
A demolition expert in the US Army's prestigious Green Berets told the FBI he simply forgot he had explosives in a bag he tried to carry onto an airplane in Texas, court documents said Tuesday, AFP reports.

But investigators decided to file criminal charges against Trey Atwater after learning he'd been "admonished" by airport screeners who found a "military smoke grenade" in his bag a week earlier but let him continue on his trip after confiscating the grenade.

"When I asked him about the December 24 Fayetteville (North Carolina) incident after TSA informed me of it, Atwater acknowledged that it occurred, but said he had forgotten to mention it to us during our initial interview," FBI agent Cory Richardson wrote in charging papers.

Atwater was arrested on New Year's Eve after airport screeners in Midland, Texas, discovered military grade C-4 explosives in his bag.

He told investigators that he hadn't used the bag since he'd come home in April from his third deployment to Afghanistan, where it was standard operating procedure to carry at least two blocks of C-4 on any operation.

Atwater said he grabbed the bag out of his garage at the last minute to use as a carry-on and put children's items in it and was "surprised" to hear it contained explosives.

His arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

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