Long Island Woman’s Bomb Threat Was Motivated by Love

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Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Of all the fake threats made around the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Mary Purcell's was probably the most well intentioned. According to authorities, the Long Island resident made an anonymous call to the Arizona police on the morning of September 10 to say she'd overheard her boyfriend plotting to blow up Southwest Airlines Flight 2475, which was set to fly from Tucson to Islip, New York, Saturday afternoon. Because the threat sounded "credible," the flight was delayed to allow airport security to remove and recheck all of the passengers' luggage while nine bomb-sniffing dogs searched the plane. Nothing unusual was found, and the flight took off about ten minutes late. Among those inconvenienced by the incident were Purcell's mother and brother, Margaret and William Meyer, "who appeared to have no knowledge about the bomb threat" at the time. No knowledge, but maybe a hunch?

Later, the FBI traced the call to a landline in the Meyers' home. There, they found Purcell, whom they questioned and arrested after she admitted the threat was a fabrication:


Purcell told the FBI agent that “her story about the bomb was false, there was no plot against Flight 2475,” the warrant said.

“And she had made up the story because she did not want her mother and brother flying around the anniversary of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks,” the warrant said.

She was released on a $200,000 bond co-signed by her mother and brother, who are probably used to this sort of thing by now. (Perhaps not unrelated: Purcell happens to be out on parole for a forgery conviction.)

Feds say LI woman called in fake bomb threat to Southwest Airlines [NYP]
Long Island woman charged with making fake bomb threat against flight carrying her mother & brother [NYDN]