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Japanese Tourist Causes Evacuation of Hawaii Airport After Bringing to Hand Grenades In His Hand Luggage

Japanese Tourist Causes Evacuation of Hawaii Airport After Bringing to Hand Grenades In His Hand Luggage

a plane with a couple of grenade shaped objects

A Japanese tourist was responsible for the temporary evacuation of a Hawaii airport on Tuesday after he tried to get through the security checkpoint with her hand grenades in his hand luggage.

The grenades were, thankfully, inert but that fact was only found out after law enforcement mounted a major terrorism response, shutting down the security checkpoint and evacuating the airport terminal.

The incident at Hilo International Airport resulted in a “brief halt in operations” of around one hour, the Hawai‘i Police Department said as it responded alongside the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The Japanese passenger was prevented from leaving the United States as he had planned and was instead taken into police custody.

41-year-old Akito Fukushima of Kanazawa, Japan, now faces a potential charge of first-degree terroristic threatening according to the HPD. Fukushima remains in custody at the East Hawaii Detention Facility while detectives continue their investigation.

This might seem obvious, but following Fukushima’s arrest, the HPD and TSA reminded airline passengers that inert or replica explosives were prohibited in either checked or carry-on luggage.

That point was, however, lost on another passenger who attempted to get through the TSA security checkpoint at Pittsburg Airport with two inert hand grenades in his carry-on.

Bizarrely, the incident happened on the very same day of Fukushima’s arrest.

Across the United States, the TSA says it has now detected 3,269 at airport checkpoints since the start of the year. That equates to an average of around 19 firearms being found every single day – worryingly, nearly 95% were loaded.

The number of firearms detected so far in 2024 is roughly on par with the number found by TSA officers in the first six months of last year. However, the TSA is so far having a record-breaking year for the number of passengers it has screened so proportionally firearms detections are down on 2023.

That could either be because passengers are getting the message that they can’t take their firearm in the carry-on bag, or perhaps it’s because the TSA isn’t doing so well at finding firearms.

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