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    On 9/11 Anniversary, Someone Leaves Very Suspicious-Looking Item In Rental Car Returned At LB Airport; Major Response Includes Bomb Squad; Item "Rendered Safe" (Was Empty); All Clear Sounded

    (Sept. 11, 2006) -- On the five year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, someone left a a cylindrical object, metal in color, capped at both ends with wires coming out of it inside a rental vehicle returned to LB Airport.

    The result was (of course) a major response.

    LBPD and the L.A. County bomb squad dealt with the situation. Vehicular entry to the Airport was blocked (since the road leads right past the rental car area).

    Arriving passengers waited on the sidewalk some distance away.

    The bomb squad examined the item and "rendered it safe" [detonated it]. It was an empty PVC tube, seemingly made to look like a bomb.

    LBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. David Cannan spoke extemporaneously and fielded questions from a crush of local media:

    Sgt. Cannan: About 8:30 this morning we responded here to the Long Beach Airport in regards to a suspicious package that was found inside of a trunk of a vehicle. This vehicle was a rental car area that was dropped off in the rental car area but the owner was not there.

    In the back seat of the car was a package. It was cylindrical in shape, metal in color, it was capped on both ends and there were wires coming out of it.

    This raised obviously some suspicions on the part of the people checking-in the car. They called Airport security who called us; we then cleared the area and shut it down, and...the L.A. County bomb squad [responded].

    They detonated the package. It turned out to be an empty PVC tube and we're clearing the car. We did contact the renter that dropped off the car [and] over the phone he said that he did not leave anything in the car. So we're still going to investigate what did occur...

    Q: ...Was [the device] sort of made in a way to look as if it was some kind of a contraption or device?

    Sgt. Cannan: It definitely was made to raise suspicions. Again, it was cylindrical in shape, metal in color, capped on both ends with wires coming out of it. Anybody that would have looked at this would have the same thoughts...It's not the day to do something like that.


    Q: Do you know if there was anything inside of that cylinder when it was detonated?

    Sgt. Cannan: It was empty.

    Q: What kind of a crime is it if someone intentionally put something that looked like a device in a car?

    Sgt. Cannan: That in itself is a crime. If you're just even presenting a fake bomb, the fact that you're presenting it is a crime.

    Q: At this point you're not charging the guy who rented the car, you're still talking to him?

    Sgt. Cannan: Correct, the investigation will stay open...he's been cooperative...

    Q: Is it possible he dropped off the car and somebody put this in the back seat?

    Sgt. Cannan: That's a possibility...

    At about 10:30 a.m., the Airport was declared clear and passengers began marching toward the terminal.

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