Missile launcher brought as souvenir from Kuwait

A man was detained at a Washington International airport by US transport security officers after they found a missile launcher in his checked baggage. The man, who claimed to be an active US military personnel, said he had brought the missile launcher as a souvenir from Kuwait.

Souvenir or not, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) did not take kindly to the man trying to transport a missile-launcher on a commercial flight. The TSA said that carrying the missile’s launcher was illegal as military weapons are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags.

The agents promptly confiscated the launcher but surprisingly allowed the man to catch his onward flight. In a country where people are allowed to walk around freely with loaded guns having a missile launcher in one’s baggage is probably only a difference of degree.

In a statement on the issue, the TSA said that the weapon confiscated from the man, a resident of Jacksonville, Texas, was fortunately not a live device. Images of the launcher issued by the TSA show the launch tube for a Griffin missile, which according to the weapon’s manufacturer, the US arms giant Raytheon, is a “precise, low-collateral-damage weapon for irregular warfare operations. It has a proven track record for successful rapid integration on land, sea and air platforms.”