Hossein Dehnavifard, a 37-year-old Iranian Muslim national, was arrested on May 10th, after allegedly threatening to use a bomb at the airport after he was refused entry on his American Airlines flight to Philadelphia for arriving late.
RAIR FoundationHossein, a Senior Design Software Control Engineer at Komatsu Mining in Peoria, Illinois, has been in the United States for almost seven years. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Iran from 2004 to 2011. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town in South Africa from 2013 to 2016. He then did his Postdoctoral Scientist at the Tennessee Technological University from Feb 2017 – Oct 2018 for almost two years.
According to police, Hossein told American Airlines gate agents that his luggage contained a bomb after he was denied boarding his flight. Hossein claims that he then asked two airline staff members, “What if I had a bomb in my bags?” while those staffers told police, Hossein said, “I have a bomb in my bag.”
Hossein expressed his frustration about being denied entry to the plane, insisting that he had arrived on time. He also mentioned that this was not the first time the airline had “done this to him.”
Police said Hossein intended to fly to Iran. Instead, he was taken to the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh and is facing charges of terroristic threats and a threat to use weapons of mass destruction. The situation resulted in more than 100 passengers on American Airlines flight 1862 being deboarded and the B-concourse being partially closed.