EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

October 10, 2012

Feds: Man at LA airport had weapons, smoke grenade

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Why would a man flying from Japan to Boston need to wear a bulletproof vest and travel with a suitcase full of weapons, leg irons, a smoke grenade, a gas mask and a biohazard suit?

That's what federal investigators are trying to figure out despite a lack of cooperation from 28-year-old Yongda Huang Harris, who was arrested during a stopover at Los Angeles International Airport, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Harris, who was taken into custody at the airport Friday wearing the vest and flame-resistant pants, was not cooperating with federal officials attempting to interview him, according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation.

The official said Harris is not believed to be linked to a terrorist organization, but his motive has not been determined.

Harris has been charged with one count of transporting hazardous materials, an offense that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He made a brief court appearance Tuesday, but his arraignment was delayed until Friday and he was ordered held until then.

Harris is a U.S. citizen whose permanent residence is in Boston, though he recently started living and working in Japan, officials said. Attempts to reach Harris' family in Boston and his associates were unsuccessful.

His attorney, Steven Seiden, was unavailable to comment, said Chris Williams, a spokesman for Seiden, who also represents Mark Basseley Youssef, the man behind the anti-Islam video that recently sparked violence in the Middle East.

It's unclear what Harris had on his body and what he had checked in baggage, which will be crucial information to the defense, said Williams, who declined to comment on why Harris was carrying any of the weapons.

"It raises a lot of questions, and those questions will need to be answered. Right now, the case is very early," Williams said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins
Photos of the Week