Airport worker charged with terrorism
Charges stem from a bomb hoax that affected cargo travel between Jamaica and North America.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday March 7, 2011 – A 46-year-old airport restaurant supervisor has become the first person in Jamaica to be charged with terrorism. The charge, one of three filed against David Bernard, stems from the alleged bomb hoax which affected cargo travel from Jamaica to North America last week.
Bernard, who works at a restaurant at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA), is accused of terrorism activity contrary to the Terrorism Prevention Act, which was passed in 2005; an act endangering or likely to endanger aircraft safety; and public mischief.
A statement from the police indicated that the circumstances which led to Bernard’s arrest and charges are that about 8:12 am on Sunday, February 27, a man called personnel from the Transnational Crime and Narcotics Division, alleging that an employee of one of the Duty-Free Shops at NMIA was planning to place explosives on an American Airlines plane.
Bernard is believed to be that caller.
Police said that investigations by detectives from the Organised Crime Investigation Division and personnel from the National Intelligence Bureau had concluded that the information provided was “false, malicious and was a personal vendetta against the Duty-Free Shop employee”.
As a result of the call, passengers on board a flight from Jamaica, which landed at the Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale that night, were prevented from disembarking the plane as US Transport Security Administration (TSA) officials searched the luggage.
Nothing was found, but in the interest of safety the TSA subsequently instituted a 72-hour ban on cargo departing Jamaica for the US, or using US airspace to Canada and the Bahamas. That ban was subsequently lifted.
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