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TSA finds missile launcher in guy's luggage, lets him catch flight

Airport officials discover a surprising weapon tucked in with some laundry.

The TSA found this missile launcher in checked luggage.

The Transportation Security Administration has found some bizarre items in checked bags, but TSA officials still must have been surprised to spot a missile launcher in a traveler's luggage at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on Monday. The officers contacted airport police, who tracked down the missile launcher's owner. 

The unnamed Jacksonville, Texas, resident told the authorities he was active-duty military on his way home from Kuwait. "He wanted to keep the missile launcher as a souvenir," the TSA said in a release about the unusual find

The missile launcher was not live and didn't pose a danger. A photo of the launcher shows it was a Griffin missile system component made by Raytheon. The company describes it as "an air and ground-launched, precise, low-collateral-damage weapon for irregular warfare operations."

The state fire marshal confiscated the missile launcher for disposal. "The man was permitted to catch his flight," the TSA noted.

The TSA offered up a helpful reminder for all of us that military weapons are not allowed in checked or carry-on bags. But mummified heads are A-OK.

Originally published July 30, 9:45 a.m. PT.