Disgruntled American behind spate of bomb threat calls in Kuwait

February 28, 2010
By

Turner and his family - Al Watan Daily

A disgruntled American is behind the spate of hoax bomb calls that gripped Kuwait in the last few weeks, a Kuwaiti paper said.

Orlando Turner a former resident of Kuwait said that the hoax threats were meant to exert pressure on the Kuwaiti authorities to speed up the settlement of his legal case with his soon-to-be ex-Filipino wife who wants the custody of their 11-month-old daughter, Al Watan Daily reported on Sunday.

First revealing himself in a YouTube video under the name “jackofalltrades98”, Turner claimed to know the truth about the bomb threats that had caused the shutting down and evacuation of several buildings in Kuwait.

Turner said that he was behind nine of the ten bomb threat calls in 2010, not claiming responsibility for Kuwait Stock Exchange hoax call, the paper said.

“The first location was the Sultan Center in Salmiya,” he said before mentioning the Johnny Rockets in Salmiya, the AlـManshar Hotel in Fahaheel, the Sheraton Hotel in Kuwait City, the Philippines Embassy, Kuwait International Airport, a Ruby Tuesday’s in Mahboula, a Mr. Baker in Mahboula.

“The last one was, wow, two days ago, and the Ministry (of Information) didn’t say (anything about it). That was the Pizza Hut in Fahaheel,” he said.

Over an Internet phone call, Turner explained his behavior as an attempt to see his daughter at the centre of a custody battle with his wife, whom he met and married in Kuwait, as they go through divorce proceedings in Kuwait.

Marriage trouble seemed to have started when the couple took in a run-away maid to help the wife who was pregnant with their baby. The maid later accused Turner of offering her 40 Kuwaiti dinars in exchange for sex. He denied the charge, but the couple separated.

His situation was compounded when he lost his position as a supervisor for American contractor CSA Kuwait and he had to leave Kuwait to take up a new position in Texas, while a divorce case was filed, Al Watan Daily said.

“This is not a political statement, and it is not a terrorist threat or anything like that. I just want to see my daughter, who has been hidden away from me by her Filipino mother,” Turner said.

But Turner offered divergent explanations for the hoax bomb threats.

In one instance, he said that he wanted “to let people know about parental child abduction. That’s not a reflection on anybody else, but I want to see my daughter, you know?”

However, in another instance, he said that “the only reason I made the bomb threats is because I’m tired of all the bull****.”

Asked if he is using the threats as a means of pressure, he replied: “Yes, it’s to pressure the government, the Kuwait government, because I called the embassy here in Washington D.C., also the consulate in New York. Basically, the Kuwait government doesn’t give a damn.”

Turner said that stress built up because his legal representative in Kuwait had told him that the case would need at least three months to get finalized, “and I don’t have three months” to spend as unemployed in Kuwait.

He told the paper that his daughter’s passport had been lost, and that his wife was unable to get a new passport from the American Embassy because he was not there.

Turner said that he did not plan to escalate his attempts to get his daughter back, and that his next step is to “basically to work here in the US, you know, and hope that my daughter is deported from Kuwait.”

According to the paper, Turner’s hope that his daughter would be deported meant that he had no plan to have an active role in the divorce proceedings, an attitude that would ultimately result in the Ministry of Interior deporting his wife and daughter. Deportation could mean that the daughter, based on her birthـright citizenship, could be given to the father while the wife will be sent to the Philippines.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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