Members of a federal task force late Tuesday arrested a former TSA screener who they accused of making threats against Los Angeles International Airport, including “unspecified threats” related to the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Nna Alpha Onuoha, 29, was taken into custody in Riverside before midnight by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force with assistance from Riverside police officers, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
Pending additional investigation, Onuoha will be held on suspicion of making threats, she said.
The arrest came after Onuoha allegedly made threats against LAX terminals earlier in the day following his resignation from his post as a screener with the Transporation Security Administration. Onuoha held the position since 2006 but had been suspended recently, Eimiller said.
Details about his suspension were not immediately available.
Eimiller said federal authorities began investigating Onuoha on Tuesday afternoon after he resigned from his job and allegedly left a suspicious package addressed to another employee at the TSA’s LAX headquarters. The Los Angeles Police Department’s bomb squad inspected the package and determined that it contained no explosives or harmful substances, she said.
The package, however, contained an eight-page letter in which Onuoha expressed his thoughts about the incident that led to his suspension and his disdain for the United States, Eimiller said.
Later in the day, she said, a man who federal authorities believe to be Onuoha allegedly called the TSA and instructed an employee to “begin evacuating certain terminals at the airport.” According to Eimiller, the caller allegedly told the employee he would be watching to make sure his instructions were carried out.
Federal authorities said the same man called the TSA a second time, again instructing that terminals be evacuated. Police cleared the terminals, but there appeared to be no threat to the airport, Eimiller said.
While searching Onuoha’s apartment in Inglewood, members of the terrorist task force discovered a note taped inside a closet, Eimiller said. The note, she said, contained “an unspecified threat citing the 9/11/13 anniversary.”
Federal authorities then arrested Onuoha. It’s unclear why he was arrested in Riverside, and further details about his arrest were not immediately available.