Woman charged in airline terror hoax on ex-lover
Thursday, November 24, 2011
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California woman surrendered to the FBI Wednesday on charges that she called an airline to report a fake terrorist threat hours before her ex-lover was to board an international flight, authorities said.
Temple City resident Lizet Sariol called United Airlines on Sept. 25 to say there would "be an emergency" on a Las Vegas to Paris flight, according to a criminal complaint filed by the federal government.
Prosecutors allege the 45-year-old woman was seeking revenge on a man who she'd had sexual encounters with over four meetings — and who had just unfriended her on Facebook, among other rejections.
Posing as an anonymous tipster, prosecutors said Sariol told the airline that she'd received threatening texts from the man she had the relationship with, Adnen Mansouri, and his traveling companion Salim Oumahdi, according to the complaint. Both are French citizens.
In the phone call to United Airlines, Sariol called the men "foreigners" and never used the words "bomb" or "terrorist," but later told federal investigators that she had suggested a terrorist threat.
Airline and federal transportation safety officials took the tip seriously and stopped Mansouri and Oumahdi at LAX, before they flew to Las Vegas on the first leg of their trip home.
At LAX, Mansouri told federal officials he was expecting to be stopped based on Sariol's threats and behavior, authorities said.
Mansouri told investigators that Sariol came to the Beverly Hills home where he was staying the night before his flight.
When Mansouri declined her invitation to go out, Sariol cried and responded angrily before Oumahdi told her she had to leave, according to the complaint.
Mansouri also showed federal investigators his Facebook page, where Sariol had posted more than 40 messages in the 5 days before his flight, many of them negative.
The complaint said Mansouri also provided a text message from Sariol the day of his flight: "Don't even try to get on the plane(.) called the FBI(.) Sucks to be all of you(.) Hope you all have good attorneys."
Sariol is charged with providing false and misleading information by fabricating a terrorist threat. She was being held on $20,000 bond.
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