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'Bomb' ordeal victim hails arrest

An Australian teenager who spent 10 hours with a fake bomb chained to her neck has spoken of her relief that the FBI has arrested a man accused of breaking into her home and tethering the device to her as part of an elaborate extortion plot.

Paul Douglas Peters was arrested in Kentucky, the US, in connection with the attack on 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver, who was studying at home in Sydney when a masked man carrying a baseball bat broke in and attached the bomb-like device to her neck.

The intruder left behind a note demanding money, along with an email address which appeared to refer to a novel about a ruthless businessman in 19th-century Asia. Bomb technicians later found no explosives in the device.

A smiling Miss Pulver told reporters outside her home in the wealthy Sydney suburb of Mosman that she was "very relieved" to hear of Peters's arrest. "I'm glad it's all over," she said.

Asked why she had been targeted, she replied: "I think we're all wondering why."

Peters, a 50-year-old Australian investment banker who travels frequently to the US, was arrested by the FBI at his ex-wife's house in a well-heeled suburb near Louisville, Kentucky. He has been jailed pending an extradition hearing set for October 14.

Australian police plan to charge him with multiple offences, including kidnapping and breaking and entering.

What ties he has to the wealthy Pulver family remain unclear, although federal court documents reveal he once worked for a company with links to the Pulvers.

William Pulver, Madeleine's father, is chief executive of Appen Butler Hill, a company which provides language and voice-recognition software and services.

Peters's brother Brent Peters said his brother would not have the guts or the technical capacity to mastermind such a plot. "I still don't believe it. I still think there's more than meets the eye in this case," said the 52-year-old. "I would not know who'd have any technical capability whatsoever like that. We're old school."

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