Man with smoke grenade was searched in Seoul airport
LOS ANGELES (AP) - South Korean security officials screened a man with a bulletproof vest before he got on a flight to Los Angeles, but they never detected a banned smoke grenade in his checked luggage with a cache of knives, handcuffs, a gas mask and other weapons, a US official said Wednesday.
Yongda Huang Harris and his carry-on luggage were thoroughly searched, but authorities found nothing suspicious and he boarded the flight, said a Homeland Security official briefed on the investigation. The official was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Harris, 28, was arrested in Los Angeles last week during a stopover on a trip from Japan after US Customs and Border Protection officers noticed the bulletproof vest. A search of Harris' checked luggage uncovered the smoke grenade and an array of suspicious items, including leg irons, body bags, a hatchet, billy clubs, a collapsible baton, duct tape and a biohazard suit.
US officials were working with South Korean authorities to determine how the grenade slipped through screening of Harris' checked bag.