ATLANTA — Agencies conducting a counter-terrorism sweep at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport may have made their most significant find so far.Agents did not find any explosives but said they did find several illegal aliens in the back of a truck who would have had inside access to a cargo area at the airport.
The area is not connected to passenger terminals.Federal, state and local authorities conducted the airport checkpoint on Monday and Tuesday nights, scanning hundreds of trucks carrying cargo bound for airplanes.”We do these randomly and unpredictably that they provide a deterrent.
We were here last night, I’m not sure who would’ve predicted that this operation would continue,” said Jon Allen with the Transportation Security Administration.
Agents used bomb-sniffing dogs, a radioactive detector and an x-ray device but found no explosives.But Tuesday night the x-ray machine scanned a small cargo truck and found several men inside, authorities told Channel 2’s John Bachman.Federal immigration agents quickly pulled it aside and searched it.
Bachman said officials told him little about the men inside, but they were investigating whether they are legal citizens and what they were doing in the back of a truck bound for inside access of the airport.Federal agents later identified the men as seven illegal aliens who they said were processed for removal from the United States. Agents said the men had no ill intent against the country.
Truckers Bachman talked to said they were not surprised by the checkpoint.”I think it’s good. I mean it’s time consuming, but it’s safety so it’s something that needs to be done,” said trucker Ronnie Bond”They’ve been doing this two days and word travels through the street, so I wasn’t surprised,” said Bond.Agents said they had no specific threat prompting the operation.