U.S. air traffic controller charged with possessing pipe bomb

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An air traffic controller was arrested in the U.S. state of North Carolina on Friday for allegedly having a bomb in his possession.

Paul George Dandan, a 30-year-old who worked as an air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, was charged with acquiring, possessing and transporting “a weapon of mass destruction”, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said in a statement issued Friday.

Police said it was found at Dandan’s apartment.

On Nov. 3, the authorities received a 911 call that someone had a homemade explosive at home in Charlotte. When the officers arrived, they found a homemade pipe bomb, the local media reported.

Dandan got the bomb from his room mate, a 39-year-old identified as Derrick Fells, media reported. Fells had made the bomb to use it against a neighbor he had a dispute with but then changed his mind, police said.

Fells was also arrested Friday and charged with three counts of manufacturing a weapon of mass destruction and one count of possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

The airport said Dandan did not have access to any aircraft.

“The FAA employee only had access to the offsite air traffic control tower and had no access to the restricted areas of the terminal or ramp,” the airport authorities said in a statement.

The FAA said Friday night that Dandan had been fired and his access to the airport terminated.

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