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Man arrested in Kentucky for Australian collar bomb

Paul “Doug” Peters, 50, was arrested on Monday in La Grange, Kentucky at the home of his ex-wife by the FBI.  Peters is an Australian citizen who has lived in the United States.

Madeleine Pulver, 18, was alone in her family’s home on August 3rd studying for her high school exams in her bedroom when, according to an 11-page arrest complaint unsealed Tuesday, she saw an intruder walk in carrying a black aluminum baseball bat and wearing a striped, multi-colored balaclava over his head.  The man told her to sit down and no one would get hurt.  Pulver then sat on her bed and the intruder placed the bat and a backpack next to her.  She noticed he was holding a black box.  He then forced the box against her throat and looped a device similar to a bike chain around her neck.  The man locked the box into position around her neck and placed a lanyard and a plastic document sleeve around her neck.  It contained a hand-written note with demands and the email address and a USB digital storage device.  The handwritten note stated, “Powerful new technology plastic explosives are located inside the small black combination case delivered to you. The case is booby trapped. It can ONLY be opened safely, if you follow the instructions and comply with its terms and conditions.”  When the man started to walk away, Pulver asked him where he was going and he responded by saying, “Count to 200 … I’ll be back … if you move I can see you I’ll be right here.”  The man then left, taking the baseball bat and the backpack with him.

Pulver was then strapped to the device for 10 hours while an Australian bomb squad worked to free her.  Once the device was removed it was found to contain no explosives.

The arrest complaint explained how Australian authorities were able to tie Peters to the email address that he had left with his demands.  Australian authorities determined that a Gmail account linked to the incident was established on May 30, 2011, from an IP address linked to a Chicago airport.  Travel documents obtained from immigration authorities showed that Peters had been at the airport that same day.  The Gmail account was accessed three times on the afternoon of Aug. 3, almost two hours after the device was placed around the teenager’s neck.  The first access took place at 4:09 p.m. from an IP address registered to Kincumber Library.  Surveillance video captured a man matching the suspect’s description at the library around the same time.  The next two were at 5:25 p.m. and 5:51 p.m. on the same day, from an IP address registered to the Avoca Video Store stop in New South Wales.

The handwritten note stated, “Powerful new technology plastic explosives are located inside the small black combination case delivered to you. The case is booby trapped. It can ONLY be opened safely, if you follow the instructions and comply with its terms and conditions.”

Peters took a one way flight from Sydney to Chicago on August 8th and then continued  to Louisville from Chicagoon August 9th.

Peters was in U.S. District Court on Tuesday where he was ordered to be jailed pending an extradition hearing set for October 14th in Louisville.  He has been charged with kidnapping and breaking and entering in Australia.  It is not know whether or not Peters will fight the extradition to Australia.

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