Angry girlfriend calls in bomb threat on U.S. flight

Christopher Shell 
By: John Roberts 

(Scroll down for video) An angry former girlfriend was behind a bomb scare that disrupted a flight from Philadelphia to Dallas.

A bomb hoax on a Philadelphia to Dallas flight led to a large-scale SWAT response that was apparently caused by a spiteful former girlfriend who participated in a cruel joke on her former boyfriend who was aboard the U.S. Air flight, police told news media.

Someone called police and said that a passenger was armed with liquid explosives, police said.

Authorities said Christopher Shell, a salesman in his 20s traveling between Philadelphia and Dallas, had no explosives and is cooperating with authorities. He seems to have been the victim of a cruel joke.

When asked how he reacted when police took Shell off the plane, Police Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan of Philadelphia, said in a press conference: "He was obviously very alarmed as I would be if heavily armed police entered a plane to take me out of it, he was definitely shocked."

However, in an improbable coincidence, Shell had been accelerated through security by a friend up at the airport and posted a message on his facebook page that going through security was a breeze.

The post would have amounted to nothing in any other circumstance, authorities said. In the context of the threat phoned in alarms went off and bomb technicians, police, FBI agents and K-9 dogs descended on the flight conducting a full search.

The former girlfriend and a man believed to be her current boyfriend are now in custody, sources said. According to sources, they seem to have perpetrated the bomb threat and are being questioned by federal authorities in Philadelphia.

The sources said they have not resolved what their individual roles were. Neither the FBI nor the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia commented. No charges have been filed against anyone at this time, according to sources.

"This is not a joke," said Sullivan. "These are federal charges, there will be very serious charges."

He said authorities still had no motive for the joke.

"It's just an incredibly stupid and irresponsible thing to do," he said. "And the bottom line is that this is criminal."

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