2009 LaGuardia Airport bomb scare

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On August 1, 2009, at LaGuardia Airport, an airport employee noticed a computer consultant named Scott McGann[1] acting strangely and a Port Authority police officer was sent to investigate. The officer noticed some electrical equipment in McGann's bag and asked him what it was. McGann, who, according to his mother, suffers from catatonic schizophrenia, which sometimes leaves him unable to speak[2], pulled out a power strip and flipped the switch back and forth to demonstrate that it was a harmless piece of computer equipment. The alarmed officer believed this to be an attempt to detonate a bomb[3], pulled the bag away, threw it into an unoccupied area, arrested McGann, and had the terminal evacuated. Dozens of flights were delayed, impacting thousands of passengers, and a ripple effect was felt throughout air travel on one of the busiest travel days of the year.[4]


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  1. "Laguardia Fake Bomb Suspect's Mom: "He's Not A Kook"". 
  2. Goldsmith, Samuel; McShane, Larry (August 6, 2009). "Airport fake bomber Scott McGann is 'no terrorist,' says store employees". Daily News. New York. 
  3. Daly, Michael (August 2, 2009). "Standard procedure: Hero cop describes fake bomb ordeal at LaGuardia Airport". Daily News. New York. 
  4. Baker, Al; Robbins, Liz (August 2, 2009). "After Bomb Scare, La Guardia Reopens". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2010.