A Tulsa man has been charged by Criminal Complaint for allegedly reporting that a drive-up nuclear suitcase bomb would be detonated at Tulsa International Airport, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
Anthony John Michalski, 64, of Tulsa, is charged with providing false information about bombs at an airport. According to the Criminal Complaint, Michalski called in the anonymous tip to the Tulsa International Airport at 2:33 p.m. on Dec. 24, 2019, stating the bomb would arrive within three hours of his phone call. At the end of the call, he stated that he needed to hang up before he was caught or killed.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners take seriously any terroristic threat that could put our community at risk. In this case, Mr. Michalski is charged with falsely claiming a nuclear device would be delivered and detonated at Tulsa International Airport on Christmas Eve,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “Law enforcement officials from the Tulsa Airport Police Department, Tulsa Police Department Explosive Detection K-9 Unit, FBI, and Transportation Security Administration immediately investigated the threat, canvassing the airport and surrounding garages. They found no credible threat to public safety. To have this team of agents and officers come together on Christmas Eve to ensure the safety of the public was most impressive. It’s also a reminder of the selfless sacrifice of law enforcement officers. They spend time away from their families to ensure ours are safe.”
On Dec. 28, 2019, Michalski was arrested. According to the Criminal Complaint, Michalski allegedly admitted to making calls related to the bomb threat at the airport. He claimed that he made the calls because he was being held hostage by a terrorist organization. Officers also discovered a cell phone call placed to the airport at 2:33 p.m. in the defendant’s call history.
The Tulsa Airport Police Department, Tulsa Police Department, FBI, and Transportation Security Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert T. Raley is prosecuting the case. AUSA Raley is the National Security Anti-Terrorism (ATAC) Prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Oklahoma.
This matter will proceed in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, where the Criminal Complaint is currently pending. A Criminal Complaint is a temporary charge alleging a violation of law. For the case to proceed to trial, the United States must present the charge to a federal Grand Jury within 30 days. Once a Grand Jury returns an Indictment, a defendant has a right to a jury trial at which the United States would have the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.