US airport attacker had home made bombs

2015-03-21 22:40
New Orleans International Airport. (AP)

New Orleans International Airport. (AP)

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Washington - The man who attacked security agents at a New Orleans airport on Friday night had six home made bombs in a bag, officials said at a news conference on Saturday.

The man, 62-year-old Richard White, was shot three times by a sheriff's deputy as he brandished a machete and chased a Transportation Security Administration agent. Earlier he sprayed other agents at an airport security checkpoint with wasp repellent.

White, who is unconscious and in critical condition in a local hospital, dropped a bag that contained six half-pint mason jars with cloth wicks in gasoline, commonly known as a molotov cocktails, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said at a news conference.

The bag also contained a barbecue lighter, he said.

In White's car, which was found at the airport, officials found smoke bombs, an acetylene tank, a freon tank and an oxygen tank. Normand said the purpose of the tanks is unknown.

He added that White has a mental illness issue. He has refused some types of medical attention because of religious beliefs.

"No one at this point in time has any notion of what triggered this behaviour," Normand said.

Carol, a TSA agent who did not give her last name at the news conference, praised Lieutenant Heather Slyve of the sheriff's office, who shot White at the scene.

"Officer Slyve is my hero," Carol said. "She probably saved my life because he was within inches of whacking me. ... She saved a lot of people's lives. This man was swinging very hard with the machete."

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