ROMULUS, Mich. – A man was jailed on $500,000 bail Saturday after authorities alleged he tried to board a plane bound for his native Yemen with a knife hidden in a book.
Mohammed Ghanem, 21, of Hamtramck, was arrested Thursday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after Transportation Security Administration officers detected the knife "artfully concealed" in the book, airport spokesman Michael Conway said.
Ghanem was arraigned Saturday on a charge of possessing a weapon in the sterile area of an airport, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Someone had carved out the inside of the book and placed the knife inside it, said Ghanem's attorney, Nabih Ayad.
"He said he didn't know where the knife came from," Ayad told the Detroit Free Press.
Ghanem was born in Yemen, a republic bordering Saudi Arabia whose 18 million residents are primarily Muslim. He is now a legal permanent resident of the United States and was returning to Yemen to get married, Ayad said.
Ghanem works as a busboy and lives in Hamtramck with family members, but he had a one-way ticket to Yemen, authorities said.
"That is why the bond was so high," Conway told The Detroit News. "He is quite a risk not to show up."