Belfast Telegraph

Teen accused over US bomb hoaxes

NI student faces 23 charges with JFK and Columbine among alleged targets

By Staff Reporter

A 19-year-old student from Northern Ireland is facing 23 charges of making hoax bomb calls to the United States - including to Columbine High School where 12 students were killed in a 1999 gun massacre.

The Newtownabbey man is due to appear at Laganside Court tomorrow for a preliminary enquiry after the alerts across the US in 2012.

The institutions allegedly targeted included US schools, businesses and airports - including John F Kennedy International Airport.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Wilson, from the PSNI's Reactive and Organised Crime Branch, said: "The matter was referred to PSNI by the US authorities in 2012. We have conducted substantial and lengthy enquiries with a range of law enforcement agencies which have resulted in a series of charges being examined by the court.

"We will continue to liaise with authorities in the US and with the young man and his family."

The individual is being dealt with by way of indictable summons.

One of the alleged targets, Columbine High in Colorado, became a household name after students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 fellow students and a teacher in one of the most deadly attacks ever carried out at an US school.

The heavily armed pair planted bombs in the school and gunned down teenage students in corridors, classrooms and the library.

Klebold and Harris committed suicide before they could be captured.

The indictment also alleges hoax bomb warnings were made to three airports - JFK in New York, one of the world's busiest air transport hubs; Kansas International Airport, and Los Angeles Airport.

Allegations about hoax calls made to Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, as well as to several US schools, also appear on the charge sheet.

Mann's Chinese Theatre - situated on Hollywood Boulevard - is famous for its 200 handprints, footprints and distinguishing marks of film stars, past and present, embedded in the cement of its forecourt.

The venue has also in the past hosted the Oscars.

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