Security agencies deal with threats Sunday

Posted Sept. 11, 2011, at 6:35 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 11, 2011, at 11 p.m.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Security agents detained a man and shut down one of three terminals at the main airport in Kansas City Sunday after detecting suspicious items inside his carry-on bag on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The man was stopped about 9:30 a.m. at the Southwest Airlines checkpoint at Kansas City International Airport. Transportation security agents who detected suspicious items in his bag asked to examine them, and he was detained when he refused, airline and law enforcement officials said.

The suspicious items tested negative for explosive materials, according to a statement from the Transportation Security Administration. A bomb squad and bomb-sniffing dogs remained on the scene Sunday afternoon, and passengers were being rescreened.

Counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Sunday that the Obama administration is taking seriously the still-unconfirmed intelligence tip of a possible al-Qaida plot tied to the Sept. 11 anniversary.

The threat reported to authorities Wednesday night remains “specific and credible,” Brennan said during interviews with “Fox News Sunday” and CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Investigators have chased a tip that al-Qaida may have sent three men to the U.S. on a mission to detonate a car bomb in either Washington or New York. But officials have said they’ve found no evidence al-Qaida has sneaked anyone into the country.

Also Sunday, the Secret Service was investigating three threatening messages that were posted on the White House’s Facebook page.

The messages included a picture of Osama bin Laden. One said, “We’ll come back 11/9/2011 to kill u all.” Another showed small plane icons and said, “Today we’ll come 11/9/2011.”

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the agency referred the messages to its Internet threat desk.

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