Virginia Man Arrested for Cruise Ship Bomb Threat
An intoxicated cruiser was arrested on bomb hoax charges outside Port Canaveral, Florida early yesterday morning.
Jon Worth, flickr
The Carnival Sensation was on the last leg of a three-day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas when a passenger allegedly overheard a man making a bomb threat.
Coast Guard Officer Christopher Evanson told Reuters the man was heard saying: "We are jihad. Come to the top deck and watch the bomb. The bomb is going to blow." Evanson added the Coast Guard was warned the man was "highly intoxicated." The incident happened around 3:30 a.m.
Ibrahim Khalil Zarou, 31, of Leesburg, Virginia was arrested by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office on state charge of making a false report of a bomb. It has been reported the FBI will pursue the case. If convicted, Zarou could receive up to 15 years in prison.
After Zarou's arrest, the U.S. Coast Guard, FBI and Brevard County Sheriff's Office held the Sensation approximately four miles offshore while the ship was searched and witnesses were interviewed. After the agencies found no evidence of a bomb, the ship was cleared to dock around 10:45 a.m.
Almost three years ago to the day, the Sensation was evacuated because of a phony bomb threat at the same port. The 10-deck cruise ship typically embarks on two Bahamas cruises per week out of Port Canaveral, with capacity to carry around 3,500 passengers and crew.