Official: Soldier charged with trying to board plane with explosives

Police evacuated the Midland International Airport in Texas on Saturday while authorities removed a suspicious item.

Story highlights

  • Officials spot the item in his carry-on during X-ray screening
  • There was no way to detonate the explosive, official says
  • The suspect is identified as an Army soldier
Authorities charged an Army soldier with attempting to board an airplane with a military-grade explosive at a Texas airport in an incident officials downplayed as "nothing nefarious."
Trey Scott Atwater, 30, of Hope Mills, North Carolina, was taken into custody Saturday morning.
Transportation Security Administration agents spotted the item in his carry-on during X-ray screening at a security checkpoint at the Midland International Airport, Midland police and city officials said.
The material was identified as an explosive, though it was determined there was no way to ignite it as there was no detonator or initiator, a law enforcement official told CNN on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to release the information to the media.
Atwater was an active-duty soldier, the official said.
The incident forced the evacuation and temporary closure of a portion of an airport terminal, authorities said.
"At no time was there any danger to the people at Midland International Airport or the community of Midland, Texas," Mark Morgan, an FBI spokesman, said in a statement.
Atwater has been arrested on a federal count of attempting to board an aircraft with an explosive, Morgan said.