Suspicious package at Montreal airport leads to arrest, delays flights

Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is seen in a file photo. (Wikimedia...

Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is seen in a file photo. (Wikimedia Commons/Groupe Canam/HO)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:03 PM ET

MONTREAL - Police arrested a would-be passenger at Montreal's Trudeau airport Sunday morning after sources said security agents found a powder-like substance in his carry-on luggage.

The arrest of the 71-year-old man, who is known to police, eventually led Montreal police to a home in the west-end borough of LaSalle, where they closed off a street as they waited for a search warrant to be issued so they could to enter an apartment.

Several police cars were in the area, said to be where the suspect lived, and a command post was set up.

Nearby resident were not allowed into their homes until 10 p.m. Sunday, almost five hours after they were evacuated as a precaution.

Sources told QMI Agency that the suspect, who is allegedly not a Canadian citizen, was about to board a plane to Los Angeles under a false identity and was caught at the airport's U.S. security checkpoint at around 5:45 a.m.

Sources said agents searched his carry-on and found what is believed to be a powder.

Sunday night, police Commander Ian Lafreniere said "the suspicious package contained no explosives."

"There was no immediate risk," he said.

Lafrenière, however, could not say exactly what was inside the bag, except that it "should not be in an airport."

Sources told QMI Agency that a powdery substance was detected by the airport's security system.

Police would not say if they foiled an attack, or if the man had an accomplice or acted alone.

Sixteen flights to the U.S. were delayed Sunday after police arrested the traveller.

The police bomb squad arrived and closed the U.S. departure security checkpoint at the airport, leaving hundreds of passengers on standby. Police set up a security perimeter and opened a command centre.

By 1 p.m. police reopened the U.S. checkpoint. No flights were cancelled.

Police spokesman Jean-Pierre Brabant said a suitcase and the package were sent for analysis.

"We should have the results in a few days," Brabant said.

Police have not made other arrests and the suspect was still being detained and questioned by police late Sunday.


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