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LOS ANGELES -- A man claiming to be a terrorist was arrested Wednesday after telling authorities that he had bomb hidden in a backpack at Los Angeles International Airport, causing flight delays and massive traffic jams.
The man, whose name was not immediately released, was standing outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal when he told an airport police officer that he was armed just before 11 a.m., according to Airport Police Sgt. Jim Holcomb.
"I'm a terrorist, I have a bomb in my bag and I'm going to explode it now," the man told told the airport police officer, according to Holcomb.
The suspect, described as being 25 to 30 years old, then placed the black bag at the officer's feet, Holcomb said. He was immediately arrested and questioned by local and federal authorities.
An anxious knot of travelers hung outside Terminal 3 for hours while police, firefighers, and the Los Angeels Police Department bomb squad secured the area. Many said they were relying on friends outside the airport for updates and information.
The Los Angeles Police Department's bomb squad fired a water cannon at the bag in an attempt to detonate any explosive devices, but nothing happened, according to Holcomb. A police robot then searched the bag, which did not contain anything volatile, he said.
Authorities also searched for a vehicle that the man claimed to have parked near Terminal 3, Holcomb said,
No terminals were evacuated, but one of the two security checkpoints was closed inside the Bradley terminal, according to Sterling Payne, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration.
At least six departing flights were delayed, but arrivals were unaffected, airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said.
Traffic was blocked for three hours outside the Bradley terminal, along with terminals 3 and 4, causing vehicles to bottleneck into one lane in some area of the horseshoe-shaped roadway. All roads were reopened just after 1 p.m., but traffic remained snarled for some time.
Several travelers had become so frustrated with the traffic jam that they parked their cars outside the airport and walked to to the terminals, causing a scene on Century Boulevard.
"The passengers needed to get to their flights because travel was continuing on schedule on the unaffected terminals," Castles said.