(NEW YORK) -- Airport officials are investigating the discovery of a machine gun found Thursday at JFK International Airport.
A Port Authority official briefed by investigators said a Cobray M11 9mm semi-automatic was found in an office in Terminal 1. The gun was found in a case in the ceiling -- unloaded and without ammunition -- and detectives have been called in to find how it got there or if it's been used in the commission of a crime.
The office where the weapon was found is outside of the secure area and is not accessible to the public. Authorities told ABC News the room stays locked and only a few individuals have access to it.
“The good news is that it was found in the non-secure area of the terminal, so it would have had to get through security to get on a plane. But it is a real gun. It is not an antique," the Port Authority official told ABC News. "We are not sounding alarms. We don’t believe there is some sort of ongoing plot. But that gun shouldn’t have been there.”
Law-enforcement and counter-terror experts view the non-secure area of airports as among some of the more dangerous areas because they are “soft targets” that are usually accessible to anyone – even those not boarding a plane who would need to go through security checkpoints.
The gun was found by an airport worker stringing electrical cable inside the ceiling.
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