FBI releases statement about JIA scare investigation
FBI Jacksonville Field Office Special Agents sent to assist police during JIA bomb scare
A 39-year-old man is in jail after police say he approached a TSA agent and said he had a bomb, prompting the Jacksonville International Airport to be evacuated and closed for several hours Tuesday night.
During the JIA incident, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Jacksonville Field Office sent special agents to the airport to investigate.
The FBI Jacksonville Field Office released this statement Thursday, about their investigation into the incidents that took place at JIA Tuesday.
"At approximately 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, Special Agents from the FBI Jacksonville Field Office, including members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and the Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF) responded to assist officers from the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) Police Department in investigating three separate events at the Jacksonville International Airport (JIA). The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office also provided assistance.
At approximately 5:50 p.m., a male subject, Zeljko Causevic, age 39, approached the TSA security checkpoint at JIA. While at the checkpoint, Causevic indicated that his bag contained a bomb. An officer with the JAA Police Department took him into custody for questioning. As a result, the airport was evacuated.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad responded and ultimately isolated and cleared the bag, determining that it was a hoax device at approximately 12 a.m. Causevic was arrested by the JAA Police Department and charged with possessing a hoax bomb. At this point, the FBI cannot provide details of the contents of the bag due to the ongoing investigation.
At the same time Causevic was being questioned, the JAA Police Department approached another male subject, Manuel Rivera, age 35, who when approached became defensive and dropped a bag he was carrying. That bag was also ultimately isolated and cleared by the JAA Police Department and determined not to contain anything of consequence. At approximately 10:15 p.m. Rivera was detained and after questioning, it was determined there was no connection to the initial bomb threat. He was arrested by the JAA Police Department on unrelated charges.
Additionally, during this same time period, the JAA Police Department was informed of an incident on an out-bound flight involving a disruptive passenger. There were no arrests made. It was determined this event was also unrelated to either of the two above incidents and arrests at JIA.
The confluence of these three events in a short time frame suggested perhaps a larger plot was unfolding, and made necessary a significant response to evaluate the situation as a whole. It is law enforcement’s mission to ensure the safety of the traveling public and security of the airport complex. Thanks to the collaborative effort by all responding agencies, the investigators were able to verify these events and individuals were unrelated.
We thank the JAA, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the TSA for their decisive action in this matter."