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Hearing Set For Soldier Accused In Airport Explosives Case

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MIDLAND (AP) - A congressman says two 2.5-pound blocks of a powerful, military-grace explosive were found in a soldier’s luggage at a West Texas airport.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway of Midland says FBI and Transportation Security Administration officials have given him details of the Saturday find in Trey Scott Atwater’s luggage at Midland International Airport.

Conaway says he takes the 30-year-old Fort Bragg soldier “at his word” that he was unaware the explosives were in his bag.

Atwater was heading back to Fort Bragg.  His flight from Midland would have brought him to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

A hearing is scheduled for Friday in a Midland federal court to determine whether Atwater will remain in custody.

Authorities say Atwater had a carry-on bag containing C4, a powerful explosive used in Iraq and Afghanistan to blow the hinges off doors or destroy unexploded ordinance. Atwater grew up in Midland.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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