Even though it is still a hoax, do bomb threats like these still pose a danger by starting a dangerous stampede of tourists scampering for safety?
By: Ringo Bones
Given the dirty bomb and anthrax bomb attack scares by Al Qaeda on US soil during the first decade of the 21st Century, the zero tolerance policy adopted by law enforcement agencies on such attack scares – even hoax ones – seem justified. But such draconian policies prove an effective deterrent of such “antisocial activities” such as the recent Statue of Liberty bombing hoax?
Earlier this year, a man who identified himself as a 1993 World Trade Center bombing conspirator and then threatened to blow up the Statue of Liberty back in April 24, 2015 has finally been arrested on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 by the FBI. Jason Paul Smith, 42, was charged with conveying false and misleading information and hoaxes and could face a 5-year prison sentence. According to a court complaint, Smith said in a 911 call that he was Abdul Yasin, the only conspirator not captured of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. Mr. Smith was recently arrested in Lubbock, Texas where he is charged with conveying false and misleading information and hoaxes the authorities said.
Jason Paul Smith of Harts, West Virginia, said he was Mr. Yasin and an “ISI terrorist” when he called 911 from his i-Pad to say “that ‘we’ were preparing to blow up’ the Statue of Liberty,” and FBI special agent Alexander Hirst wrote in a complaint filed in the United States District Court in Manhattan. A federal public defender did not respond to a message seeking comment on the case. The call on April 24, 2015 led to an evacuation of Liberty Island and bomb-sniffing dogs have been brought to make a sweep. The Statue of Liberty was reopened to tourists the next day after no bomb or other deadly device was found. According to FBI agent Hirst, Mr. Smith, who attended a school for deaf and blind students used a service for the hearing impaired in contacting 911 to place his hoax emergency call that got prioritized and thus was only later found out to be a hoax call.