FBI says man was plotting to bomb local landmarks

Frederick Purvis (Courtesy Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Frederick Purvis (Courtesy Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

CINCINNATI (AP) - FBI officials said Friday they arrested a man who allegedly threatened to blow up Paul Brown Stadium, other area landmarks and the Denver International Airport.

Frederick Purvis, 42, of Hamilton, Ohio, is accused of sending e-mails to two local media outlets and to the FBI threatening the football stadium, four bridges over the Ohio River, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, and an Indiana casino, FBI spokesman Mike Brooks said.

FBI officials said Purvis was charged with making e-mail threats to blow up the Denver airport. The other threats are cited in the federal complaint filed against him. He is being held on federal felony charges of making a bomb threat, which carries a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison, and of making a false terrorist threat, with a potential sentence of five years.

FBI agents arrested Purvis on Thursday at a hotel in Erlanger, Ky., near the Cincinnati airport. A federal magistrate Friday ordered that Purvis remain in custody pending a psychiatric examination.

Purvis' father, also named Frederick, said his son has mental issues and has been on medication. He said he doesn't believe his son really planned to carry out any threats.

"I don't think he could build a bomb if he wanted to," Purvis said. "I don't think there was any intent."

He said FBI agents came to his home Thursday evening to ask questions, but didn't provide much information on the charges.

"I'm still in shock," the elder Purvis said.

Brooks said no explosives or bomb-making materials had been found. The FBI said in a statement that the Cincinnati and Covington, Ky., Joint Terrorism Task Forces began investigating after two local media outlets in Cincinnati and FBI headquarters in Washington received e-mails warning that the four bridges, the stadium, the Cincinnati airport and the Argosy casino would be "blown up" Nov. 14-16.

The e-mails used a fake name, the FBI said.

"Numerous law enforcement agencies expended significant resources to ensure there was no danger to the general public during the last weekend," the FBI statement said.

The investigation tied the e-mails to similar threats against the Denver airport sent in October to Denver television stations, the FBI said.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)