Bomb Threat Used to Avoid Missing a Flight
Some people don’t think about what it is that they’re doing when they’re in the moment. When you’re running late for a flight, however, calling in a bomb threat is probably not the wisest idea – and one man found out the hard way.
Rashidul Islam was trying to catch a flight from the Gatwick airport in London to Marrakech, Morocco. He hailed a cab and was on his way, but he realized that he wasn’t going to make it for his 5:40 p.m. flight. This is when desperation got the best of him.
He had to make the flight because he couldn’t spend the money to get another plane ticket. He called 999, the equivalent of 911 in the US, and told the dispatcher that there may be a bomb on the plane.
When he was on the phone with the dispatcher, he told them about the flight number on EasyJet that was leaving in 40 minutes. He said that it needed to be delayed or stopped, which he hoped would give him enough time to get to the airport and get onto the plane.
The flight was delayed. The officials of the airline evacuated the plane and kept all passengers by the gate. This provided Islam with the time that he needed to check-in for his flight and get to the terminal.
Islam didn’t think of something, however. He used his cell phone number to make the bomb threat, so authorities were able to realize that it was Islam that made the call. He was arrested at the Gatwick airport. He admitted to the crime quickly since it was his cell phone that made the call. He also explained why he made the call, out of desperation, but the authorities didn’t care that he was running late.
The plane finally took off, though it was three hours after it was supposed to depart. Sadly, Rashidul Islam was not on the flight. Instead, he was permanently banned from the Gatwick airport and was being sentenced to spend 16 months in prison.
The Sussex Police Department explained that making false bomb reports strikes fear into the community, causes delays, and results in a number of costs. Stephen Trott, the Police Detective Constable says that all reports of that nature are treated “extremely seriously” and those caught of such an offense “will be dealt with robustly.”
Apparently, Rashidul Islam had bigger issues going on, too. As if making a false bomb report to hold a plane wasn’t bad enough, he was also guilty of money laundering crimes. This resulted in 42 more months being added to his prison sentence. Whether these crimes were identified as a result of him being caught by London authorities or whether it was because of another case is unclear. Either way, it appears that Islam will need to get used to spending some time behind bars since he doesn’t know how to be a law-abiding citizen.
Islam won’t be making any flights to Morocco anytime in the near future. It’s likely that he’ll spend the next five years in prison. During this time, he should be able to focus on his time management skills so that he learns that he has to leave to the airport sooner. Since he’s been permanently banned from using the Gatwick airport, he’ll also have to establish different travel plans the next time he wants to go somewhere.
Unfortunately, Rashidul Islam isn’t the first one to make a false bomb report. Each and every year, it happens around the world. Airports across the United States deal with people providing false information to the TSA regularly. In the US, there’s what’s known as a Criminal Complaint, which is a temporary charge that alleges that there’s been a violation of the law. This ensures that the defendant is given the right to a jury trial. However, most people who have falsely called in a bomb threat admit to what they have done, as Islam did.
When people learn that it’s actually easier to miss a flight than to spend over a year in prison, it may help to deter people from calling in false bomb threats. Islam’s story and others are published around the world as a way to show people what happens when a bomb threat is made simply to halt a plane or provide benefit to one person when no bomb is actually in place.