Suspect In Australian Bomb Hoax Arrested In Kentucky

Aug 16, 2011

"An Australian man was arrested in Oldham County [Ky.] on Monday in connection with a fake bomb that authorities said was placed around the neck of a teenager halfway around the world as part of an alleged extortion plot," the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

According to the newspaper:

"Paul Douglas Peters, 50, of Sydney, was taken into custody without incident at about 4 p.m. after members of an FBI SWAT team, along with Australian law enforcement officers, swooped down on a home ... near LaGrange, said Elizabeth Fries, special agent in charge of the FBI's Kentucky office. The home belongs to Peters' former wife, who was not there at the time and is not believed to be involved in the alleged crime, police said at an evening news conference."

As The Associated Press writes, it was nearly two weeks ago when "18-year-old Madeleine Pulver was attacked in the wealthy Sydney suburb of Mosman. She was alone studying for exams when a masked man broke into the house in the middle of the day, chained a device that looked like a bomb to her and left a note with demands before leaving."

The young woman, the AP adds, "spent 10 terrifying hours chained to the device before the bomb squad was able to free her. She was not hurt, and the device was later found to contain no explosives."

According to Australia's ABC News, Pulver's parents say they are "enormously relieved" to hear about the arrest but remain "baffled by the case." William Pulver, the victim's father, is CEO of an information technology company.

The Australian newspaper, says that Australian authorities believe there are some indirect links between the suspect and the Pulvers. Both Peters and William Pulver have worked "extensively in New York and Asia," according to the newspaper. It adds that it could take 60 days or so for Peters to be extradited from the U.S. to Australia.

The Courier-Journal reports that Peters is thought to have "lived in Sydney recently, but also had lived in Kentucky before."

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