An Australian national arrested in Easton Thursday and at first believed to be on the FBI terrorism watch list was released from prison Friday after authorities figured out it was a case of mistaken identity, according to published reports.
According to Easton police, Ali Abbas, 32, called attorney Raymond Lahoud on Wednesday—September 11—and threatened to “take his sister’s kids out” and “blow her house up.”
At a little after noon on Thursday, Abbas showed up at Lahoud’s S. Seventh Street office unannounced looking to speak to him, police said. Lahoud told police that “he felt extremely threatened by” Abbas, court papers say.
Arraigned on two misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats and two summary counts of harassment before on-duty District Judge James Narlesky in Hanover Township, bail was set at a whopping $100 million.
Abbas, who lives in Arncliffe, a suburb of Sydney—Australia’s largest city—was committed to Northampton County Prison.
When Easton police arrested Abbas, a criminal background check revealed that his name is very similar to someone who is on the FBI’s list of potential terrorists, The Express Times reported.
Once he was committed, officials used Abbas’s fingerprints and other background information and—in consultation with two U.S. government agencies—determined that Abbas was not the same man, the newspaper reported.
At a bail hearing on Friday, Northampton County Judge Edward Smith ordered that Abbas be released on his own recognizance, provided that he surrender his Australian passport and has no contact with the people he is accused of threatening, according to The Morning Call.