NEW YORK — A West Virginia man entered a guilty plea Monday for threatening to blow up the Statue of Liberty in 2015.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara announced that Jason Paul Smith, 42, pleaded guilty in Manhattan Federal Court for calling in a hoax bomb to police, prompting the evacuation of over 3,200 people from Liberty Island.
Smith made a 911 call on April 24, 2015 from his iPad using a service that allows people hearing impairments to make phone calls.
Court documents show that Smith identified himself as "Abdul Yasin" and said he was an "ISI terrorist." Smith alleged that "we" were preparing to blow up the Statue of Liberty.
Immediately after the call, officials began evacuating Liberty Island and conducted a sweep of the area with a canine unit. The threat turned out to be a hoax.
Documents revealed that the iPad, which is registered to Smith, had used the service to make other 911 calls. The iPad was linked to at least two calls from May 2015 where a user who identified as "Isis allah Bomb maker" threatened to kill police officers on the Brooklyn Bridge and blow up Times Square.
Smith pleaded guilty to one count of conveying false and misleading information of hoaxes.
If convicted, Smith faces a maximum of five years in prison.
He will be sentenced on September 6.