BOSTON – A Saudi (search) man was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges he carried three firecrackers onto an airplane.
Essam Mohammed Almohandis (search), 33, allegedly was found with the small firecracker-type pyrotechnics in his luggage after landing at Logan International Airport (search). He then lied to federal agents about them, the indictment says.
Almohandis pleaded innocent at his arraignment Tuesday. He remains held on $50,000 bail.
Miriam Conrad, a public defender, has said her client was unfairly targeted by strict airport security. Authorities say the explosive pieces could have ignited an improvised bomb if used together, but not necessarily individually.
"They had no evidence whatsoever that that was his intent," Conrad said.
Almohandis was arrested Jan. 5 at Logan when inspectors found the material in his luggage. He allegedly first said they were artists' crayons and later said he was unaware of what they were and how they got into his bag.
He had flown from Riyadh, the Saudi capitol, to Frankfurt, Germany, before landing in Boston.
If convicted, Almohandis faces up to five year in prison on the false statement charge and up to 10 years on the charge of carrying an incendiary device on an aircraft.