Australia Collar Bomb Hoax: FBI Arrests Man in Kentucky

PHOTO: Madeleine Pulver is seen in this undated file photo taken from her Facebook page.
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U.S. officials arrested an Australian man in Kentucky today in connection to the case of a mysterious intruder who attached a bogus "collar bomb" to an 18-year-old girl in a wealthy suburb of Sydney, Australia.

Suspect Paul Douglas Peters, 50, is known to commute between the United States and Australia and conducts business in both countries, Australian police said today.

He was arrested at his ex-wife's home in Buckner, just outside Louisville, and New South Wales police, who've been working closely with the FBI, were present for his arrest, officials said at a news conference today.

Australia will seek his extradition to face the charges of aggravated breaking and entering, felony and kidnapping. He is being held on a provisional warrant and has yet to be charged.

He will make his first appearance in court in Louisville Tuesday, the FBI said.

The Pulver family has yet to comment.

Justice Department officials earlier confirmed that the FBI had made an arrest in Kentucky in connection with the Aug. 3 incident, in which Madeleine Pulver, the daughter of a cyber executive, spent 10 hours attached to the device before it was determined to be fake.

An intruder in the Pulver home in Mosman, New South Wales, Australia, attached the bomb to Madeline Pulver's body. Her father is the chief executive of a software company called Appen Butler Hill that specializes in voice recognition software, fueling speculation that she was the victim of an attempted extortion plot.

New South Wales state Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said at the time that the motive was a mystery. "You would hardly think that someone would go to this much trouble if there wasn't a motive behind it," said Murdoch.

At around 2:30 p.m., police said, they went to the home in response to a call from an 18-year-old girl. There, a police bomb squad examined a suspicious device near the woman.

Four officers, including bomb specialists and police negotiators, were inside the house with the teenager to keep her calm as they examined the device.

The exclusive neighborhood was evacuated during the ordeal and people were told to stay away.

While the situation may be a first for Australia, similar scenarios have made news and found their way into popular culture in the United States.

In 2003, a Pennsylvania pizza delivery man named Brian Wells was involved in a bomb plot and bank robbery that resulted in his own death. Wells thought he was an accomplice of the men planning the bank robbery and that the device strapped to him would be a fake.

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Wells was instructed to rob the bank and tell police that the device was forced onto him and that he was a hostage. However, the bomb turned out to be real and killed Wells when it detonated.

A similar story, in the form of a Hollywood comedy, was released to U.S. movie theaters on Friday. The film, "30 Minutes or Less," stars "The Social Network's" Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza boy who is kidnapped by two criminals who strap a bomb to him and tell him to rob a bank or else they will kill him.

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