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Charges dismissed in bomb threat case

A Saudi national who is a U.S. resident has been released and charges against him dismissed after he was accused of threatening to bomb an airplane .
/ Source: The Associated Press

A Saudi national who had been accused of threatening to bomb an airplane has been released from custody after authorities dismissed charges against him.

The discharge order came Thursday, one day after 45-year-old Saleh Al Suwailem appeared before a federal grand jury in Macon, according to his attorney, David Roberts.

“He said the wrong thing at the wrong time,” Roberts said.

Al Suwailem, a legal U.S. resident, was at Fort Benning on June 5 interviewing for an interpreting job in Iraq. After hearing he would not get the job because he had been denied security clearance, Al Suwailem allegedly threatened to bomb the flight that he was going to take to return home to Boise, Idaho, the next day.

An FBI agent testified Al Suwailem made the threat while drinking beer with fellow interpreter candidates at Fort Benning. A fellow candidate reported the alleged comments. He was arrested June 7.

Acting U.S. Attorney G.F. Peterman III said “we do not anticipate any further action against him,” and declined comment on why his office chose to file a motion to dismiss the charge of making a terroristic threat against an airplane.

The motion Thursday said, “The government submits that the evidence is insufficient to proceed further in this matter.”

The charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years.