Koreans screened a man with a bulletproof vest before he got on a flight to Los Angeles, a U.S. official says, but they never detected an illegal smoke grenade concealed in his checked luggage.
Korean authorities thoroughly searched Yongda Huang Harris and his carry-on luggage, a Homeland Security official told the Associated Press on Wednesday. They found nothing suspicious and he boarded the flight.
Harris was taken into custody in L.A. after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers noticed the vest — and a search of his checked luggage uncovered a smoke grenade, knives, body bags, a hatchet, billy clubs, a gas mask and handcuffs, among other items.
U.S. officials are working with Korean authorities to determine how the smoke grenade slipped through screening.
The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.