In recent months, airlines and airports have been plagued with bomb hoax phone calls by women trying to keep loved ones from flying that day.
In September, Tucson Airport authorities received two phone calls from a woman advising that she had heard her boyfriend and others plotting to place a bomb on a plane. After investigating, they discovered that Mary Purcell, age 37, of Long Island, New York, was attempting to prevent her mother and brother from flying around the time of the 9/11 anniversary. Purcell has a history of mental illness.
In Los Angeles, a woman who had a brief relationship with French man called in a threat in order to prevent him from taking a flight from LAX to France. Lizet Sariot was charged in November.
The FBI just filed charges against Joanna Woolfolk. She is alleged to have called in a bomb threat to the Los Angeles Airport to prevent her husband from boarding a plane to Atlanta after they had been fighting.
Despite the fact that these incidents are almost humorous, the FBI takes them extremely seriously. They investigate and presses charges to ensure that the public gets the message that such incidents will not be tolerated. The cost to investigate hoaxes is significant and the FBI doesn’t think it’s a joke.
FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller advised, “Making a threat to an airline is a serious offense and will be prosecuted. The response to these hoaxes is a great
expense to the government.”
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