Simulated bomb cause of airport disruption

Sept. 13, 2011 at 11:33 AM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 13 (UPI) -- A simulated bomb in an ex-police officer's luggage was the cause of a lengthy disruption this weekend at the Kansas City International Airport, officials said.

Federal prosecutors Monday charged former New York police officer Anthony Falco Jr., 47, with making false statements to officials and trying to pass a "simulated improvised explosive device" through airport security, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported.

Falco allegedly told security screeners Sunday "whoever opens my bag is going to have a very bad day" and screeners were "going to be sorry" if they opened any of the taped packages in his luggage, an FBI complaint said.

As airport police dogs sniffed the packages, Falco began chanting Bible verses and seemed to be praying, the affidavit by an FBI agent and bomb technician said.

A bomb squad hit the luggage with high-pressure water and determined the item wasn't explosive, the Star said.

After the treatment, authorities recovered an analog clock, batteries, an personal music device, a digital camera and camera components, a camera battery, a cell phone and other personal effects, the affidavit said.

Part of Terminal B was evacuated at about 10 a.m. and reopened after 4 p.m. Sunday.

In a court appearance Monday, Falco said he did not make any such threatening statements. He also denied making an improvised explosive device, saying he taped the electronics together to prevent theft.

"OK, what I would like to say is this is totally absurd. I never gave such statements," Falco said. "I love this country."

Falco's mother told FBI agents her son had undergone psychiatric treatment in a New York facility but recently stopped taking his medications.

Prosecutors said they would ask that Falco remain incarcerated until trial because of his illness. A detention hearing is set for Thursday.

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