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Man Accused of New York Mall Bomb Hoax Under Scanner for Far-right Connections

Representative image

Representative image

Law enforcement authorities indicted them on Wednesday and charged them with making terroristic threats.

A far-right activist has been arrested on suspicion of planting a fake bomb that led to evacuation of a New York City mall. The man, along with his friend, has been charged and arrested. The duo was allegedly planting a fake bomb on a car with “Black Lives Matter” signs at the Queen's Place Mall last month. He had even left a dog stuck inside the vehicle.

According to an NBC report, Louis Shenker, 22, of Massachusetts and Taylor Lyne, 27, of California allegedly pulled the bizarre hoax in a garage at the New York shopping center last month, the Queens District Attorney and police said. Shenker, who had recently been arrested and accused of arson, called the police before he turned himself in in the early hours.

Law enforcement authorities indicted them on Wednesday and charged them with making terroristic threats. They were also slapped with charges for placing false explosives in a stolen vehicle at a public area and wiring on its trunk, the District Attorney's office said.

New York Firefighters on Monday morning discovered a stolen car in Queens with wire, cans and electrical wiring in the form of a hoax bomb device on top of the vehicle's trunk. However, after preliminary investigations, no explosives were found in the vehicle. The stolen car was a Tesla with Nevada plates parked at the Queens Place mall, but they rescued a husky dog from it. A mall worker first noticed the device that was rigged with a gas can and protruding wires on its trunk.

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According to the Times of Israel report, Shenker, a former Jewsih youth group leader-turned-far-right activist, was questioned by the police. He had also made an appearance on Alex Jones’ InfoWarsshow. The report also cited that the two men were ‘ripping down Black Lives Matter’ signs earlier that day.

According to the complaint, Shenker reportedly said that it was his friend’s car and the gas can belong to him. He uses it to fill up his lighter. He also mentioned that the dog too belonged to his friend Taylor. He further said that he helped put a blanket on the car as they ‘didn’t want anyone to steal it’.

If convicted, both Shenker and Lyne will face seven years in prison, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office. Attorneys for both did not immediately return requests for comment.

first published:February 11, 2021, 17:49 IST