Feds Announce Arrest of NYC Bomb Hoaxster

     MANHATTAN (CN) – After a hoax bomb threat back in April led to the evacuation of thousands from the Statute of Liberty, federal prosecutors arrested a man in Texas on Wednesday.
     Jason Paul Smith faces presentment this afternoon before a federal judge for the Northern District of Texas after his arrest in Lubbock, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
     Prosecutors say Smith, 42, of Harts, W.Va, communicated the Statute of Liberty bomb threat on April 24, using service that enables the hearing impaired to make and receive phone calls.
     During the 911 call Smith placed from his iPad, he “identified himself as ‘Abdul Yasin,’ [and] described himself as an ‘ISI terrorist,'” a federal complaint filed Wednesday in Manhattan states.
     Prosecutors say Smith gave a dress in Manhattan and threatened “that ‘we’ are preparing to ‘blow up’ the Statue of Liberty.”
     When law enforcement descended on Liberty Island with canine units, the dogs “alerted to the area of the visitor lockers at the base of the Statue of Liberty, prompting law enforcement officers and emergency responders to evacuate the more than 3,200 people who were on Liberty Island at the time,” a DOJ statement states.
     Smith’s threat was subsequently determined to be unfounded, prosecutors say.
     A search of Smith’s iPad shows that he used the phone-relay “service to make other 911 calls, including at least two calls in May 2015 from a user who identified himself as ‘Isis allah Bomb maker’ and who threatened to attack Times Square and kill police officers at the Brooklyn Bridge,” the DOJ statement continues.
     Smith faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the charge he faces: one count of conveying false and misleading information and hoaxes.

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