Man with strange watch arrested at Oakland Airport
3:07AM EST November 17. 2012 -
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a Southern California man was arrested at Oakland International Airport after security officers found materials they say could be used to make a bomb.
Alameda County Sheriff's officials say 49-year-old Geoffrey McGann of Rancho Palos Verdes was taken into custody Thursday night. They say he tried to pass through airport security with an ornate watch that had switches, wires and fuses that could be used to make a timing device for a bomb.
Sgt. J.D. Nelson says the bomb squad arrived within five minutes and determined there were no explosive materials in the watch.
Nelson says McGann told officers he's an artist and claimed the watch is art.
McGann was taken to Santa Rita Jail where he was charged with possessing materials to make an explosive device.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Man wearing ornate watch with bomb-making supplies arrested at Oakland airport
By Erin Ivie, Kristin J. Bender and Katie Nelson
Posted: 11/16/2012 11:17:03 AM PST
Updated: 11/16/2012 10:16:12 PM PST
OAKLAND -- A Southern California man headed home from a business trip was arrested at Oakland airport Thursday night after federal security agents found bomb-making materials in his elaborate watch, according to a spokesman from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
Geoffrey McGann, 49, was arrested for felony possession of materials to make an explosive device and remains at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on $150,000 bail.
McGann reportedly took off his watch while going through a security checkpoint at Terminal 2 about 7:45 p.m. and put it in the security bin along with his carry-on luggage and covered it with his coat, according to Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
Nelson said an
agent with the Transportation Security Administration initially spotted the watch, which had a large leather strap with a protruding toggle switch, wires and fuses and a circuit board. McGann told authorities he is an artist and the watch was one of his art pieces.
In addition to the strange watch, Nelson said there were other suspicious things about McGann: his boots were two sizes too big and they were stuffed with layers of homemade insoles, which allowed for large cavities where someone would be able to hide items.
Nelson also said McGann was wearing a military-style shirt with a built-in tourniquet in the sleeves, often used by soldiers to stop bleeding if they receive an arm injury.
"In it's totality , it didn't add up," Nelson said. "He was on a trip for work and he didn't have to check any bags. Everything didn't seem right. It didn't pass the smoke test."
The bomb squad arrived within ten minutes after the 7:45 p.m. call and after examining McGann's watch, found no explosive materials present, Nelson said.
"He had every component to make a trigger mechanism," Nelson said. "Was it? No. But was everything there? Yes."
McGann was arrested under a section in the state's penal code that says that "a person who possesses any substance, material, or any combination of substances or materials, with the intent to make any destructive device or any explosive without first obtaining a valid permit to make that destructive device or explosive, is guilty of a felony."
McGann was trying to board a Southwest Airlines flight back to his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, according to ABC News.
McGann's Facebook page says he is a Jiu-Jitsu champion, while his personal website says he worked in the advertising industry on commercials for Nike products, Samsung and Kodak. The site also says he is a photographer and previously taught at art universities.
A call to a Geoffrey McCann's home in Southern California was not answered Friday night.
Contact Erin Ivie at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie. Reach Kristin J. Bender at email@example.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/kjbender.
"a person who possesses any substance, material, or any combination of substances or materials, with the intent to make any destructive device or any explosive without first obtaining a valid permit to make that destructive device or explosive, is guilty of a felony."
Are they saying he had intent to make a destructive device?
Where was the explosive material?
Every mobile phone can be used as a triggering device to set off explosions, as we see in FBI sting operations.
Any electricians truck or home depot has all the equipment needed to manufacture explosive devices.
Warning: if you have a backpack, with a laptop, its charger, a mobile phone charger, an external hard drive, a funky USB stick, a battery-powered wireless mouse, a 3G dongle, a tablet and its charger, you're going to be arrested.
If I were in the security trade, I'd posit that he was making a dry run to see if he could get his special attire through a security check...perhaps prior to a live run. For the record, I am not in the security trade, nor do I pretend to have such credentials. This post is speculative in nature and should be read as such. Over and out.
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