KALAMAZOO (AP) An Israeli professor has withdrawn his candidacy for a job at Western Michigan University after he was accused of telling an airport official that a bomb was in his luggage.
The 56-year-old professor of medieval history flew from Haifa, Israel, on Sunday to Kalamazoo. He was to interview Monday for the position of history department chairman.
When he arrived at Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport, an official there told him one of his bags was left behind at Chicago O”Hare International Airport.
The professor later said he was tired, irate and only joking when he allegedly responded that a bomb was inside the bag. But he was detained for questioning and local and federal officials opened investigations.
His comment led to the activation Sunday of O”Hare”s bomb squad and the closure of an entire section of the airport. Bomb experts and bomb-sniffing dogs located the professor”s luggage, and no bomb was inside.
The professor was released to the custody of a Western Michigan official.
The FBI has not charged the professor with any crime while it continues to look into the matter.
Sgt. Ron Lee of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has said his agency will ask the U.S. attorney”s office to charge the man regardless of what the FBI decides. Making a bomb threat at an airport is a federal crime punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of $2,000, Lee said.
A telephone message seeking comment was left yesterday at the U.S. attorney”s office in Grand Rapids.
Western Michigan officials said they had accepted the professor”s request to withdraw his candidacy for the job, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported yesterday.