Arrests, But No Threat to Water at Reservoir

Conn. Reservoir Scare Passes

E A S T O N, Conn., May 17 — It was tourism, not terrorism, behind suspicious activity at the Easton Reservoir that led to the arrests of three men for trespassing. Police got a call about 7:30 p.m. Thursday that three men who appeared to be of Middle Eastern ancestry were on top of a water supply tank with a video camera. Local police arrested the three men as they left the area in a car. Easton police then notified the FBI and state emergency response officials. As it turned out, the three men are cousins from the Bridgeport area who had recently bought a new digital video camera and were passing by the reservoir, according to Michael J. Wolf, the top FBI agent in Connecticut. "They drove by the reservoir, they saw the reservoir. It was beautiful scenery. They had just acquired the camera and they were videotaping," Wolf said. Easton Police Chief John F. Solomon said today that authorities acted properly. "I'm completely convinced we made the right moves when we made the arrests last night. Notifying state and federal officials is the thing we do in these days following Sept. 11," he said. The three men were identified as Juned Ahmed Choudhury, 21, and Hassan Choudhury, 19, both of Bridgeport; and Redwander Chowdhury, 19, of Fairfield. The three were released on their own recognizance and scheduled to return to court June 5. Wolf said the FBI is confident there was no act of terrorism. He also said officials responded as they should have. "Everything was done by the book," Wolf said. State officials said testing of the water supply found no contamination.

—The Associated Press

Flight Attendant Indicted for Alleged Bomb Threats

O R L A N D O, Fla., May 17 — A federal grand jury indicted a French flight attendant for allegedly writing bomb threats aboard a London-to-Orlando flight, prompting a precautionary landing in Iceland. Michael Philippe, 25, was indicted Thursday on charges of threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals, communicating false information, intimidating flight crew members and making a false statement to the FBI. If convicted of the threat charge, he could be sentenced to life in prison. Philippe's arraignment has not been set, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Turner said. Philippe's Washington, D.C.-based attorney, Brian Shaughnessy, declined comment Thursday. During a Virgin Atlantic Airways flight on Jan. 19, Philippe allegedly scrawled "Ben Laden is the best Americans must die there is a bomb on board Al Quaida" on an air sickness bag in the lavatory. He's also accused of writing, in soap on a mirror, "American must die." Philippe then reported discovering the threats to the plane's captain and another flight attendant, causing the pilot to land at Keflavik, Iceland. After a search and a night's stay in Iceland, the flight resumed the next day. Philippe of Aux-les-Baines, France, was arrested at Newark Airport on March 27. He was released from jail April 22 after posting $250,000 bond. Philippe is staying at a halfway house in Orlando, and his whereabouts are being electronically monitored.

—The Associated Press

Rumsfeld Hails Armed Forces Day

A N D R E W S A I R F O R C E B A S E, Md., May 17 — Top military leaders are kicking off the weekend celebrations for Saturday's Armed Forces Day. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says the 52nd annual celebration is particularly significant since it comes as America is waging the war on terrorism. Speaking at an open house at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, General Richard Myers says those in uniform are in a "pitched battle" to defend America's liberty and way of life. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says military personnel are demonstrating a strong commitment to duty and country. The war against terror was demonstrating that "the United States can and will adapt to meet any challenge to peace and to freedom," he said.

—The Associated Press