Entries in Bomb hoax (3)


Plane Bomb Hoax to 'Avenge' Compromising Photos, Cops Say

DFW International Airport Police(DALLAS) -- The motive behind a bomb hoax that caused a US Airways flight to turn back mid-trip was revenge for "compromising" pictures of an ex-girlfriend on Facebook, according to authorities.

Christopher Shell was on his way to Dallas to celebrate his 29th birthday on Thursday when his US Airways flight was turned around and forced to return to Philadelphia following a bomb scare.

A shocked Shell was handcuffed and led off the plane in a full-scale SWAT operation before authorities determined that the threat had been a hoax triggered by his ex-girlfriend's new beau.

"During his interview with law enforcement agents, [Shell] stated his belief that his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend 'Kenny' were responsible for making the phone call," according to a criminal complaint. The caller had accused Shell of boarding the plane with "liquid explosives."

"Kenny" turned out to be 26-year-old Kenneth Smith Jr. who authorities say "voluntarily stated that he was the person who called the Philadelphia Airport police posing as George Michaels," according to a criminal complaint.

"Smith stated that his motive for doing so was to 'avenge' [Shell's] ex-girlfriend, of whom [Shell] has posted a compromising picture on Facebook," the complaint stated.

If convicted, Smith faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and possible restitution. Smith is expected to make his first court appearance this afternoon.

Smith's girlfriend, who is Shell's ex-girlfriend, was not charged or identified by authorities and was released by authorities after questioning.

Investigators may continue to look for a third party to the illegal "vicious prank," authorities told ABC News.

Shell's terrible birthday only got worse.  After being searched, interviewed and cleared, Shell boarded another flight to Dallas. But when he arrived at the Dallas-Forth Worth Airport, he was arrested by airport police on two outstanding warrants for possessing marijuana.

One warrant was for the possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. The other was for the possession of less than 28 grams of a controlled substance.

Shell spent the night of his birthday at the DFW airport jail and was transferred to the custody of the Collin County Police this morning, according to the airport police.

The birthday may not be a total loss for Shell. Before his arrest on Thursday, Shell posted to Facebook that he was looking to sell an interview to the highest bidder.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Plane Hoax Witness Said Ending Was 'Like Seal Team Six' -- "It was like Seal Team Six. The SWAT Team from Philly, they were pretty awesome," said Kurt Weber, a passenger on the Dallas-bound US Air flight that returned to Philadelphia Thursday because of a bomb hoax.

Weber, who was sitting in seat 4-D, got a front-row seat in the quick, surgical end to the bomb scare.

"We got on to the plane, it was a flight like every other flight I have taken, completely uneventful. And frankly, I took a nap. Before we taxied off the runway, I was asleep," Weber told ABC News.

"At some point, the pilot came over the intercom and told us he was having trouble with instruments and needed to return to Philly to evaluate the instruments," Weber said.

"At that point I was awake and I stayed awake," Weber said, "And as we landed there were a whole lot of emergency vehicles and police vehicles racing out and the girl next to me, said, 'I'm sure glad we are not going where those guys are going.' And then we wind up taxiing over to them."

"No one close to me had any inclination there was a threat," Weber, 54, said. Weber is a consultant for the Archery Trade Association and was on his way to a trade show when the drama occurred.

"These guys entered from the rear of the plane. Next thing I know it almost sounded like a stampede. Here are four Philadelphia SWAT guys, all in black with laser sights on their weapons, weapons drawn and focused on this guy.

"I can only imagine what SEAL Team Six was like. I wasn't in the military, but these guys were methodical and in seconds they had him in cuffs and on the ground," Weber said.

The targeted passenger, Christopher Shell, was taken into custody.

"Then the bomb techs got on the plane and the SWAT team took positions throughout the plane and authorities explained clearly to the passengers what had happened that led to the raid."

Weber said, "The pilot was calm, the flight attendants were calm and helpful."

"If you were to take a bad experience and try to paint it in as good a light as you could, these guys did it. And I have to give the passengers some credit. There was not a passenger on the plane who did not provide a full measure of cooperation. No one complained. No one got in the way," he said.

"I want to give these (SWAT) guys kudos. They really did a hell of a job," Weber said. "It turned out to be a hoax, but nobody knows that."

Shell was later cleared of any involvement in the threat and he had no explosives, authorities said. An ex-girlfriend of Shell and a man who is her current boyfriend are now in custody, police said.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ex-NYPD Cop Arrested in Alleged Airport Bomb Hoax

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- A man identified as a former NYPD detective was taken in to custody at the airport in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday when bomb technicians determined he had a full hoax bomb in his carry on, federal authorities told ABC News.

The device the man was allegedly carrying had all the components of a bomb but no explosives or detonator, federal authorities said.

The U.S. Attorney in Kansas City is weighing charges in the case and authorities are attempting to see if the man is willing to explain himself. So far, officially, he has not.

The discovery of the device closed portions of the airport for several hours.

Sources told ABC that a decade ago the man was a NYC police officer for about three years.

Supposedly security didn't like what they saw in the bag and when they questioned him they got this kind of answer, police sources said: "'Open it you'll get a big surprise' or statement to that effect."

A bomb squad was called and they did a shot -- a controlled blast or water or sand jet into the bag to disrupt any firing mechanism. No explosives or firing mechanism was found.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio