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Man held in Florida airport threat said he had a bomb, officials say

October 02, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • Jacksonville International Airport police Officer Tim Hodges searches a passenger area with a bomb-sniffing dog after a man allegedly told security screeners that he had a bomb in his backpack. But they only found a luggage scale with a microchip inside, along with a remote control device he called a detonator.
Jacksonville International Airport police Officer Tim Hodges searches… (Bob Self / Associated Press )

A 39-year-old man was charged on Wednesday with falsely telling airport security agents in Jacksonville, Fla., that he had a bomb in his backpack, a hoax that prompted the airport's closure and the delay or rerouting of about two dozen flights, officials said.

Zeljko Causevic, who was born in Bosnia and is an American citizen who lives in Jacksonville, was taken into custody around 6 p.m. Tuesday, according to an arrest report from the Jacksonville sheriff’s office. 

He was arrested on Wednesday and will probably make a court appearance later in the day, officials said. Causevic faces charges including making a false report about planting a bomb or explosive and manufacturing, possessing, selling or delivering a hoax bomb, according to the arrest report emailed to reporters.

The airport was closed for about five hours because of the incident. It was back to normal operation Wednesday morning.

According to the arrest report, Causevic approached an agent of the Transportation Security Administration and said he had a bomb in his camouflage-colored backpack. TSA agents detained him and notified other authorities.

Later, Causevic said the device in his backpack “was supposed to be a bomb, but it’s not,” according to the arrest report. The device was described by Causevic as “a luggage scale, containing two flat round batteries and a microchip.”

There was also a cellphone inside the backpack and Causevic said he had a "detonator” on his person.

There was no indication of motive.

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