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Teenager Faces Felony Charges For Airdropping Bomb Threat On American Airlines Flight, Prompting Security Alert

Teenager Faces Felony Charges For Airdropping Bomb Threat On American Airlines Flight, Prompting Security Alert

an airplane on the runway

A Pennsylvania teenager is facing the threat of being sent to jail for two years and being slapped with a $10,000 fine after he was arrested on suspicion of airdropping a bomb threat on an American Airlines flight which was about to takeoff from El Paso bound for Chicago last Friday.

The pilots of the Airbus A319 jet immediately returned to the gate after passenger received the threat on their phones and a full scale emergency response was initiated with agents from the FBI’s West Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force and local bomb squad swarming the aircraft.

The high school student had been in texas with other students from his school on a humanitarian mission on the Southern border and was due to travel back home when he allegedly sent the threat to his fellow passengers on American Airlines flight AA2051.

“I have a bomb. Would like to share a photo,” the message read, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), which revealed details about the arrest.

The flight was delayed by nearly five hours while law enforcement searched the aircraft, passengers and luggage before determining that the threat was ‘non-credible’.

Investigators claim the unnamed student admitted sending the message, and incriminating evidence was found on his mobile phone. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of sending a false alarm or report, which is a felony offence in the state of Texas when the threat involves public transportation.

The maximum sentence, if found guilty, is two years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

Apple’s airdrop technology allows iPhone users to send messages and photos via Bluetooth technology to other nearby Mac, iPhone and iPad devices. The technology has been responsible for several bomb hoaxes in the past, including an incident last year when a 10-year-old prompted a security alert on an Alaska Airlines flight to Orlando.

The tech has also been used to share explicit photos with unsuspecting passengers without their consent. Last August, a Southwest Airlines pilot became so aggravated with passengers sending unsolicited nudes to one another that he threatened to turn a Cabo-bound plane around.

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