Montreal police said they blocked off a residential area near Pierre Trudeau International Airport on Sunday night, after a resident who was about to fly to the United States was intercepted with what appeared to be bomb-making components in his carry-on luggage.
A 71-year-old suspect who had a plane ticket to fly out of Montreal was taken into custody and will appear in court Monday afternoon, said Commander Ian Lafrenière, a police spokesman.
The suspect had in his bag hidden objects that could be used to make an explosive device, though he was not carrying explosive compounds, Commander Lafrenière said in an interview.
"It was concealed. Once you put it together it could be used to make a bomb," he said. "We're not crazy. If you have an alarm clock in your luggage, we assume that's normal. But if you hide it in your bag and, I can't tell you all he had, but no one would travel that way."
He said police searched the luggage of all the other passengers on the flight, to make sure there was no accomplice ferrying the explosive component.
The package was spotted at a security checkpoint in the U.S. departures area at Trudeau early Sunday morning and police were called in, said another police spokesman, Jean-Pierre Brabant.
"The suspicious package was controlled by the SWAT team, from there it was sent to a lab where there was some other evaluations made," Constable Brabant said.
Several local media outlets reported the U.S. screening area of the airport was closed and a number of American bound flights were delayed, though an airport spokeswoman said flight operations resumed later Sunday.
Police converged on the Montreal borough of LaSalle Sunday evening as a result of their investigation and blocked off a section of the neighbourhood.
At least a dozen emergency vehicles were on the scene and police said they were going to search an apartment in the neighbourhood.
"There is going to be an approach that is going to be made in an apartment to get all the information so we can find some items inside the house that's going to help us and lead us to what was really inside the suspicious package," Constable Brabant said.
The items in the package were not explosives, but were "not the kind of items you take on a plane," Commander Lafrenière said.
"I don't know anyone who would travel with these kind of objects," he said.