TOKYO – A South Korean man who threatened to bomb Air China planes during the opening of the Olympic Games has told police that he was only playing a prank, a report said Monday.
Lee Hyon-Sa, a 33-year-old company worker who lives in Japan, turned himself over to police near Tokyo Sunday and admitted he made the threat that caused an Air China flight to turn around mid-air, a police spokesman said.
Lee told police during interrogation that he sent the threat by email “to fool around,” Jiji Press said, quoting police sources.
A Tokyo police spokesman, however, said that it “remains unclear” what his motivation was.
Lee was arrested on charges of forcible obstruction of business.
The threat, received hours before the Beijing Games opened, read: “We are telling Air China: Immediately suspend operations of all flights. Otherwise we will bomb the planes. We will crash the airplanes into the site of the Olympics.”
One Air China plane bound for China returned to Japan. But no suspicious objects were found on the plane or four others which were on the ground.
China has introduced unprecedented security to protect the Games, deploying more than 150,000 police and other security personnel in Beijing.
Security jitters have grown due to violence in China’s restive Muslim-majority northwestern region of Xinjiang, where eight people died in clashes on Sunday.
Channel News Asia