Man facing terrorism, bomb threat charges

Authorities arrested a Pennsylvania man in Alabama on Saturday after a Shenandoah County grand jury indicted him earlier on charges connected to an investigation linking him to actions that disrupted air travel around the nation and interfered with operations at government facilities.

A written statement from Virginia State Police and the Shenandoah County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office accused Colt Arnold Hardic, 21, of making phone calls that included harassment of employees and patrons at a Mount Jackson restaurant, threats to bomb the restaurant and a threat to bomb an airliner.

Hardic is charged with one count of committing, conspiring or aiding terrorism; extortion; stalking and three counts each of threatening to bomb and using profane language over the telephone.

The dates of the offenses listed on the indictments run from May 21 to May 26.

Hardic gave himself up to authorities in Alabama without resistance. Law enforcement officials plan to extradite him to Virginia.

Authorities said Mount Jackson police called the state police and FBI on June 9 to help in the investigation, which tied several individuals, including Hardic, to threats against the restaurant.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney Office and state police said “Hardic and the other involved parties are suspected to have been responsible for incidents nationwide that caused disruption to public and private sector entities (that) include air travel” and governmental installations.

News accounts from late May, the same period mentioned in the indictments, reported that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies responded to threats against airline flights landing in New York City, Buffalo, New York, Newark, New Jersey and Atlanta. In one case, two F-15 fighter jets escorted an Air France flight to New York City after state police in Maryland reported receiving a threat about a Paris to New York flight.