Israeli charged after Newark Airport threat

The suspect made a comment that there was a bomb in his bag, says a spokesman for the Port Authority of NY and NJ.

March 19, 2013 01:32
1 minute read.
El Al airplanes sit on the runway

El Al airplanes sit on the runway 300 (R). (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)


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NEW YORK – Tel Aviv native Eran Hess, 44, was charged on Sunday with creating a false public alarm – a third degree felony – after claiming that his luggage contained an explosive device as he struggled in transit at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport.

Arriving in the US from Israel on an El Al flight, Hess and his family were told that their connecting flight to Miami on United Airlines 1294 had been overbooked, and that their seats had been taken, but that their baggage was already on the plane.

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Hess then caused a disturbance, claims the gate agent, furious that he and his family wouldn’t make their flight.

“The suspect made a comment that there was a bomb in his bag,” said a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The plane was taken to a remote location of the airport where it was checked. No bomb was found.

The defendant was eventually apprehended at another Newark terminal trying to secure a different flight to Miami, where he was promptly arrested. He has posted $100,000 bail.

Separately, on the same day and at the same airport, a New Jersey native, Thomas Foley III, 35, claimed he had a bomb in his shoe. No bomb was found and no motive has been identified for the threat.

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