Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stationed at the Richmond International Airport recently discovered what appeared to be a suicide vest, an incendiaries manual and two guns, which turned out to be props for a live-action role playing game.
The incident began when TSA officers noticed suspicious items inside a passenger’s bag as it passed through an x-ray conveyor belt. The officers examined the bag, discovered the apparently illegal items and quickly called in a team of explosives experts.
After a brief examination of the bag’s contents, the experts determined that the contents of the bag posed no threat to public safety because they were all prop items. The prop suicide vest contained no explosive materials and the guns were plastic replicas. A local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) eventually tracked down the bag’s owner for questioning. The man, identified as a resident of Henrico County, Virginia, told the officers that the items were fakes intended for use in a live-action role playing game that used very realistic props.
“The good news is that there was nothing harmful in the bag,” Chuck Burke, federal security director for Richmond TSA, said. “The items looked realistic by design. Bringing items to an airport that are meant to resemble items known to be used by terrorists, well I don’t know what the man could have been thinking would come of it. …the expertise of the TSA workforce and the cooperation among the responding agencies, Richmond Airport Police and the FBI, was exactly how our partnerships are meant to work.”