A spokeswoman for the TSA told Euronews that finding such an item in luggage was rare, although not unheard of — in August 2018, officers discovered a set of replica grenades in bags at Newark Liberty International Airport.
A missile launcher was found in a man’s checked luggage at a US airport on Monday.
The passenger reportedly told authorities the device, which was detected at Baltimore/Washington International early in the morning, was a souvenir from Kuwait.
Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the Transport Security Administration (TSA), posted a photograph of the item on Twitter and mused: "Perhaps he should have picked up a keychain instead!"
A resident of Jacksonville, Texas, the man said he was "active military personnel" travelling back from Kuwait, according to a TSA statement.
"TSA officers immediately contacted airport police who tracked down the traveller and detained him for questioning," it said.
The man was allowed to catch his onward flight from Baltimore/Washington International airport.
The item was not a live device and it was confiscated then handed over to the state fire marshall for safe disposal, the agency added.
A photograph included with the statement showed what appeared to be the launch tube for a Griffin missile, which is a "precise, low-collateral-damage weapon for irregular warfare operations," according to its manufacturer Raytheon.
A spokeswoman for the TSA told Euronews that finding such an item in luggage was rare, although not unheard of — in August 2018, officers discovered a set of replica grenades in checked bags at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the TSA said military weapons are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags.