FBI arrests man over 'collar bomb' hoax

Australian man seized in Kentucky over Sydney incident in which fake device was attached to teenage girl's neck.

    A police bomb squad was called in to help remove the fake bomb strapped to the teenage girl [Reuters]

    A man wanted in Australia for allegedly strapping a fake bomb to the neck of a teenage girl has been arrested by an FBI SWAT team in the US state of Kentucky.

    Paul "Doug" Peters, an Australian who police in New South Wales were seeking to apprehend in connection with last month's bomb hoax, was taken into custody on Monday, the FBI said.

    Peters had been staying at the home of his former wife outside La Grange, Kentucky, about 25 miles (40 kms) northeast of Louisville, the FBI said.

    On August 3, a man broke into the Sydney home of Bill Pulver, the wealthy chief executive of a company that makes speech recognition and text-to-speech software.

    The only person at home was Pulver's 18-year-old daughter, Madeleine. The man strapped a device to the girl's neck that he claimed was a bomb he could detonate by remote control, and left behind a ransom note.

    He also reportedly told the girl that the device had a microphone that allowed him to monitor her conversations.

    The girl summoned help anyway and after a 10-hour ordeal, officers were able to remove the device, which turned out to be harmless. Police described the device at the time as "a very, very elaborate hoax".

    Peters, who authorities believe left Australia on August 8, will appear in court in Louisville on Tuesday with Australian authorities likely to seek his extradition.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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