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Florida man arrested at Tampa airport

Posted By Director On February 20, 2008 @ 6:23 pm In Arrests/Convictions,Domestic Terrorism,Suspicious Incidents | Comments Disabled

Man had box cutter hidden in hollowed out book boxcutterinbook
Photo courtesy of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority20 February 2008: A 21-year-old man from Clearwater, Florida was arrested at Tampa International Airport last Sunday after TSA officials found a box cutter in a hollowed-out book. Benjamin BAINES Jr., 21, was attempting clear a security checkpoint inside Concourse C when a TSA screener saw the knife inside his backpack. He was attempting to board a Southwest Airlines flight, according to officials.

The box cutter was found when screeners searched the backpack and found the knife inside a hollowed out book called Fear, Itself. A search of his backpack yielded several other items, including violent rap music lyrics reportedly written by BAINES, a copy of the Qu’ran, and other books including Muhammad in the Bible, The Prophet’s Prayer and The Noble Qur’an.

At the time of his arrest, Hillsborough County officials charged BAINES with a single misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon. On Monday, BAINES pleaded guilty to that charge in Hillsborough County court and received a 30-day jail sentence. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa also filed a federal charge of attempting to board an aircraft with a concealed dangerous weapon, although the charge was not announced by federal officials until yesterday. If convicted of the federal charge, BAINES faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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