Feds file charges in Phoenix airport bomb scare

By the Associated Press | August 12, 2011 | 9:00 PM EDT

PHOENIX (AP) — Three African refugees are now facing federal charges after authorities at Phoenix's airport found what they thought was a bomb in one of their carry-on bags.

Luwiza Daman, Shullu Gorado and Shani Asa have been charged with possessing a package that appeared to be an explosive device. They were already charged in a local court with having a hoax device and conspiracy to obtain a hoax device.

Daman, Gorado and Asa are being held pending a Tuesday hearing in federal court. They have declined to speak to The Associated Press and it's unclear whether they have lawyers.

The three are from Eritrea (ehr-ih-TREE'-uh), a small country on the Red Sea in the Horn of Africa.

Police described the package found Aug. 5 as an organic substance inside a container, with a cellphone taped to the outside.