updated 6/7/2006 5:46:52 PM ET 2006-06-07T21:46:52

A Saudi man who authorities say was upset about being denied a job as an Arabic interpreter for the U.S. military in Iraq was charged with threatening to blow up a Delta Air Lines flight.

Saleh Al Suwailem, 45, of Boise, Idaho, was arrested by the FBI on Tuesday.

Al Suwailem was at Fort Benning, Ga., on Monday being interviewed for the job when he learned he would not be hired because he was denied security clearance, federal authorities said in court papers.

After being told to fly home to Idaho the next day on a Delta flight, he started drinking with some acquaintances and blurted out, “OK, I’m going to bomb the plane,” authorities said.

When questioned by Fort Benning officials, he said the remark was just a joke, investigators said.

Al Suwailem’s lawyer, David Roberts, declined to comment.

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