LAX and the surrounding area were brought to a virtual standstill after a man walked up to a Los Angeles Airports Police officer at 11 a.m. July 2nd, and allegedly claimed that he was carrying a bomb in his backpack and planned to detonate it in front of the Tom Bradley Terminal, police said.
The man, identified as Scott Juhun Lee, was immediately detained and a mass evacuation of a large section of the airport was initiated. The evacuation and subsequent investigation involved officials from federal, state, and local agencies.
Traffic flow on both the upper and lower level roadways in the LAX Central Terminal area was temporarily suspended by Airport Police during the incident.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Bomb Squad officers isolated the suspicious item and after a careful and extensive investigation, determined that it did not contain explosives, police said.
Investigators believe that the suspect had made a reservation for an international flight and drove his car to the airport, where he parked at an off-site lot. It was unclear why the suspect allegedly changed his plans and made the threat, police said.
A total of 131 flights, or about six percent of the scheduled operations July 2nd, were delayed between 30 minutes and two hours during the incident, airport officials said. The incident affected more than 9,000 passengers at Terminals 3 and 4 and more than 10,000 passengers at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, airport officials said.
Traffic and airline operations returned to normal at about 4:30 p.m.
The suspect was being held at the Twin Towers Jail on $20,000 bail. The LAPD Major Crimes Division, Criminal Conspiracy Division Section handled the case investigation.