UK Casino Bomb Hoaxer Told to Expect Prison Time
A gambler who returned to a casino that had barred him to stage a bomb hoax should be sent to prison for up to two years, prosecutors told a court in Bath, UK this week.
British-Iraqi Faris Attia claimed his actions were a “joke” designed to “play into people’s prejudices,” but he was warned during a preliminary hearing at Bath Magistrates Court on Wednesday that “the law takes an exceptionally dim view of hoaxes.”
According to local news site Somerset Live, Attia admitted a charge of staging a bomb hoax “with the intention of inducing in another a belief that the said article was likely to explode or ignite and thereby cause personal injury or damage to property.”
Attia’s Bomb Hoax ‘Joke’
On two occasions in September this year, Attia attempted to convince staff at the Century Casino in Bath city center that he had planted a bomb in or around the casino.
Attia was seen to drop a box into a dumpster outside the casino’s Z Hotel before walking off. Shortly afterwards, he attempted to enter the casino and, finding he was still excluded, said, “I dropped off a package … but I forgot to put a timer on it. You don’t get the joke, do you?”
When the employee replied that he didn’t, Attia replied, “9/11.”
It was actually September 12.
The court heard that in separate incident, he was seen placing a plastic bag to the right of the desk, causing the casino to call the police.
If I’m going down, I’ll take you with me,” he wrote in an email to a casino employee before making a reference to bombs. According to prosecutors, he later bragged about his exploits on Facebook.
“Dropped off something at the casino today … I forgot to set the timer,” he posted with a laughing face emoji.
“I’ve been banned from the casino because they think I’m a terrorist,” he wrote in another.
The hearing was adjourned until January 10 at Bristol Crown Court. Attia was released on conditional bail and made to surrender his passport so he does not leave the country. He is also barred from contacting casino staff.
“Clearly what you did was stupid and irresponsible, particularly in the current security climate,” said the lead magistrate. “Sentencing powers are limited in this court, so for that reason we are going to send this case to the crown court for sentencing.”