Ex-TSA Screener Indicted For Alleged 9/11-Related Threats At LAX
Nna Alpha Onuoha told the TSA it was "running out of time" on Sept.11, according to authorities.
Nna Alpha Onuoha (pictured above), 29, is currently being held without bail. He's been charged with three counts each of false information and making threats over the telephone, according to The Associated Press. After he quit his job with the Transportation Security Administration on Sept. 10, Onuoha proceeded to send a series of threats across various media, according to the indictment. He dropped off "suspicious packages and rambling letters" at the airport, reported the Los Angeles Times. He also left phone messages for airport authorities, telling them that the "TSA was running out of time" and the "entire airport" should be evacuated.
A search for Onuoha ended that same day when he was found sleeping in a van in Riverside, Calif., about 70 miles away from LAX. He reportedly told authorities that he never actually planned to commit violence. He has yet to enter a plea on the charges in the indictment.
Series of Threats: Onuoha is a Nigerian-born naturalized American citizen and a former infantryman in the National Guard who began working for the TSA in 2006. A handwritten note found by police in the closet of his apartment in the Inglewood section of Los Angeles read: "09/11/2013 THERE WILL BE FIRE! FEAR! FEAR! FEAR!"
Onuoha first gained notoriety after an altercation at the airport in June, which led to his six-day suspension from work. According to the Los Angeles Times, he was chastised by the TSA for commenting on the dress of a passenger -- telling a 15-year-old girl to "cover up." It couldn't have helped that the girl's father was Mark Frauenfelder, the founder of the popular BoingBoing blog, who posted on the incident.
"This morning, a TSA officer at LAX humiliated and shamed my 15-year-old daughter. ... [W]e were not with her when he verbally abused her," Frauenfelder wrote in the post, which included a photo of her outfit.
As to the threats that led to his arrest, Onuoha reportedly told authorities that he only planned a campaign of "preaching in the streets." No injuries have been reported as a result of the threats, and in that regard is similar to another workplace incident that AOL Jobs wrote about a year ago.
As the anniversary of 9/11 neared, a worker at a Dell Inc. production plant in Nashville informed police that a colleague named Amal Ahmed Abdullahi had begun making a series of threats. (The plant was owned and operated by CEVA Logistics.) The then-29-year-old plant worker allegedly said that she should "shoot all these people," and that was she was ready to die for Allah. She also said her true life begins after death in this life, and that "kafirs," or unbelievers, in America, should die. Abdullahi was arrested, and though she reportedly denied at first having made the remarks, she later said that she'd had a discussion on a topic of "a religious nature" with her colleague.
Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.
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