National Security

FBI arrests man for threatening to blow up Statue of Liberty


A man was arrested in Texas on Wednesday for calling in a hoax claiming to be a known terrorist and threatening to blow up the Statue of Liberty.

According to federal charges, 42-year-old Jason Smith called 911 on April 24 and said that he was an “ISI terrorist” — appearing to identify as a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — who planned to “blow up” the Stature of Liberty. 

{mosads}In the call, Smith allegedly referred to himself as “Abdul Yasin,” the only suspect in the 1993 bombing on the World Trade Center who has escaped capture.

Police dogs were called in to respond to the threat. After they alerted officials to “an area of interest” near lockers at the base of the statute, more than 3,200 people were evacuated from Liberty Island.

The threat was later determined to be a hoax.

Officials said that the iPad from which Smith allegedly called in the threat had also been used to warn about an attack on Times Square and a plot to kill police officers at the Brooklyn Bridge. From Jan. 29 to Jan. 31 alone, Smith’s account was used to make a total of 18 calls to 911, officials said.

Some of those threats were made by a person identifying as “ISIS Allah bomb maker,” the government said. 

Smith was previously convicted of making death threats and bomb threats in 2001 and 2006.  

He is being charged with one count of conveying false and misleading information and hoaxes; he faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

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