Man charged over September 11 Kansas City airport scare

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 12, 2011 7:38 PM
Man charged over September 11 Kansas City airport scare

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo (Reuters) - Prosecutors charged a man on Monday with trying to bring fake bomb through security at Kansas City International Airport on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Anthony Falco Jr., 47, faces two felony counts as a result of the Sunday incident, which prompted the partial closure of an airport terminal for nearly six hours.

According to an FBI affidavit, Falco was passing through a security checkpoint on his way to a Southwest Airlines flight with carry-on baggage that contained individually wrapped and taped packages that X-ray screeners worried could be an explosive device.

Falco initially refused to identify the items for security officers and then warned them that "whoever opens my bag is going to have a very bad day," the affidavit said.

While bomb detection dogs checked the packages, Falco appeared to pray the words, "Father God America is going to go down," according to the affidavit.

Later, Falco told an FBI agent summoned to the scene that the packages contained computer parts and photographs. But when the bomb squad rendered the device safe, they found batteries, wires and parts of digital cameras and cell phones that could be used in bomb-making, the affidavit said.

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Falco faces two felony counts, both related to providing false or misleading information to authorities for the purpose of boarding an airplane with potentially illegal items. He was being held in custody pending a detention hearing on Thursday.

Falco's mother, Bea Whitehead, told the FBI her son had received psychiatric treatment in New York but had stopped taking his medication, the affidavit said.

(Editing by James B. Kelleher and Cynthia Johnston)