Man makes hoax bomb threat to delay his flight

French librarian Jacob Abdellak jailed for 10 months after making 'quite ridiculous decision'

Peter Stubley
Thursday 16 August 2018 16:01
Jacob Abdellak was running late for his flight - so he called in a fake bomb threat
Jacob Abdellak was running late for his flight - so he called in a fake bomb threat

An airline passenger made an anonymous hoax bomb threat to delay his flight because he was running late.

Librarian Jacob Meir Abdellak called police at 5.46am on 11 May - just eight minutes before the plane was due to set off from London's Gatwick Airport to Los Angeles in the US.

Officials were forced to postpone take-off for 90 minutes to carry out a full security screening.

Abdellak arrived "significantly late" and became abusive when he was prevented from boarding by airline staff and told to rearrange his trip for another date.

The Frenchman was arrested when he returned eleven days later on 22 May to catch another flight to the US.

Investigators had discovered the phone number used to make the bomb threat was the same one used to make the flight booking with Norwegian Airlines.

He admitted it was his number but claimed he had lost the SIM card a few days before the hoax call was made.

Abdellak, of Amhurst Park, Hackney, was charged with communicating false information regarding a noxious substance likely to create serious risk to human health.

He denied the offence until the day of his trial at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday, when he changed his plea to guilty.

Abdellak was jailed for 10 months and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Chief inspector Marc Clothier of Sussex Police said: “This was a quite ridiculous decision made by Abdellak, who fabricated an extremely serious allegation purely for his own benefit.

"He was running late for his flight and thought it would be a good idea to call in a hoax bomb, however this turned out to be the worst decision he could have made.

“His actions caused the flight to be delayed, and also caused a level of fear and distress among a number of staff and passengers on board that flight.

“The consequences of making allegations about bombs, guns or similar at densely populated locations such as airports are well documented, and Abdellak’s sentence serves as a warning to others that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and offenders will be dealt with robustly.”

A Norwegian spokesperson said: “We treat all security threats very seriously and we work with the police and authorities to ensure the safety and security of our customers, crew and aircraft at all times.”

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