Monday, June 11, 2007

Bomb threat a hoax

NEWARK, N.J. (AP)--A man who allegedly claimed he had a bomb inside his luggage was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport on Wednesday night after being subdued by federal air marshals.

The threat proved to be a hoax, authorities said, and no passengers or airline employees were injured in the 7:30 p.m. (2330 GMT) incident. It occurred at a Continental Airlines ticket counter on the international departures level of Terminal C.

Osbalbo Mejias of Roselle, who is in his 40s, was charged with making a terroristic threat, said Alan Hicks, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport.

Hicks told The Star-Ledger of Newark that Mejias told a Continental customer service agent that he had a bomb in his bag. Officials said the incident resulted in the brief closure of part of the ticketing area, but didn't impede screening or delay flights.

Michael Simons, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, confirmed the incident occurred, but wouldn't say how many federal air marshals were involved. He told the newspaper that the matter didn't disrupt any checkpoints.

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