CBS News has learned that Mohamed Ibrahim Khallaf, from Freehold, N.J., is the man being detained. Airport officials only identified him as a botany teacher.
The officials said the man was taken into custody as he tried to pass through customs with a metal box containing two 9 mm handguns, 250 bullets, several swords, daggers and knives.
The box had been checked and the contents were discovered during a routine inspection upon arrival on an Egypt Air flight from New York's JFK International Airport in Cairo, according to the officials. They said customs inspectors were then alerted and the man was detained.
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A police official confirmed the man was questioned by agents of the powerful State Security Apparatus and the case had been turned over to prosecutors for further investigation.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to reporters.