Danish police evacuated one of two terminals at Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport because of a suspicious bag, airport officials and police said. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND
The two Greek men behind Wednesday's evacuation of a Copenhagen Airport terminal face charges of inciting fear and may also be hit with charges related to flight delays.
The two men, both Greek nationals, told police that they were just kidding when one of them said that his suitcase contained a bomb.
“It appears that they thought they were a pair of comedians. It's not certain that they think it is funny anymore after having slept in Vestre Fængsel [prison] last night,” Copenhagen Police spokesman Jakob Søndergaard told Ritzau news agency on Thursday.
The men, aged 33 and 65, are being charged with violating Article 266 of the Danish Penal Code, which deals with the incitement of fear through the threat of carrying out an illegal action.
Police said that the men could also face additional charges for causing delays at the airport on Wednesday. According to an airport spokesman, at least 14 flights were affected by the men's actions.
According to police, the two men were checking in with one other individual when one of them set his suitcase on the luggage belt and said that it contained a bomb. A female airport employee told the men that it wasn't appropriate to joke about such a thing, particularly in light of the terror attacks in Paris last week that left at least 129 people dead.
The worker then set off an alarm when the men attempted to keep the so-called joke going by saying that one of them was a wanted terrorist from the Paris attacks and then saying the word ‘Salaam', Arabic for ‘peace'.
Police responded to the employee's alarm in large numbers and evacuated “hundreds of people” according to Søndergaard.
The evacuation lasted over two hours and halted public transport to the airport. The incident came just hours after Danish police raised the country's threat level
by one notch to the second-highest level, citing the elevated risk of a terrorist attack after last week's Paris attacks.
Earlier this year, a Norwegian teenager was sentenced to 30 days in prison, deportation, and a six-year ban from Denmark after he made a prank bomb threat at Copenhagen Airport for a YouTube video.