A 26-year-old Norwegian charged with unleashing a terror alarm at a regional airport heading into the weekend was released from police custody on Sunday. Police and prosecutors saw no danger he’d tamper with any evidence or set off a new scare.
He remains charged with filing a false alarm that led to major disruption at the Torp airport in Sandefjord. Police also ransacked the man’s home in Oslo and seized a mobile telephone and a computer as part of their investigation.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the man is suspected of calling in the false terror alarm in order to disrupt airport operations because he feared he was going to miss a flight. He succeeded at creating disruption: Police and special forces descended on the airport, shutting it down for several hours on Friday evening.
“The man had told police he’d overheard a conversation that something was going to happen at the airport,” prosecutor Cecilie Reinskau Svorstøk told NRK. When police later could determine that the threat wasn’t real, the man confessed that there had never been any danger. His defense attorney claims the 26-year-old is sorry for all the trouble he caused, and may need a psychiatric examination.
The police action was called off around 9pm Friday and airport operations were back to normal Saturday morning. Gisle Skansen, managing director at the Torp Sandefjord Airport, said he was “mightily impressed” with how the police responded and how they handled the situation, despite the disruption. The man faces jail time and compensation claims.