Man held over Statue of Liberty hoax bomb threat

2015-08-19 19:13
Statue of Liberty. (<a>Shutterstock</a>)

Statue of Liberty. (Shutterstock)

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New York - A 42-year-old American was arrested in Texas on Wednesday and charged with making a hoax bomb threat at the Statue of Liberty that forced the evacuation of 3 200 people, officials said.

Jason Paul Smith from West Virginia allegedly called emergency services identifying himself as "Abdul Yasin" and as an "ISI terrorist" saying that "we" are preparing to blow up the statue.

It was not clear what group he was referring to.

The statue and its surrounding island, one of the most visited monuments in the United States, was evacuated on April 24 and closed for the rest of the day after the bomb threat was made.

Park police and canine units swept the scene and bomb disposal officers were scrambled in after a possible suspicious package was located in a visitor locker.

The threat was later deemed to have been a hoax.

US prosecutors said Smith was arrested in Lubbock and would appear before a federal court in Texas later on Wednesday.

He is charged with one count of conveying false and misleading information and hoaxes, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, prosecutors said in New York.

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