A Cuban exile who came to the United States in the early 1960s was arrested last night at Miami International Airport after an Eastern Airlines pilot called a hijacker's bluff and ingnored a demand that he fly to Havana, an FBI spokesman said.
"He said he wanted to go to Havana and had placed a bomb somewhere," FBI Special Agent William Nettles said.
The man was identified as Carlos Jesus Figueroa, 45, of Tampa.
After being interrogated several minutes by the FBI at the airport, Figueroa was hustled into a waiting car.
Asked whether he had planted a bomb, he said: "Yes."
Eastern spokesman Tom Myers said a group of Cubans had handed a note to an attendant on flight 115 from Tampa to Miami that said an explosion would be detonated in Tampa, apparently on the ground, unless the 727 jet was flown to Havana.
Earlier yesterday, a 43-year-old Cuban refugee was arrested at a security checkpoint at the Orlando Airport after authorities singled him out with a potential hijacker profile and found a small bottle of what was believed to be gasoline, police said.
Orlando airport security officer Chuck Clay said the refugee was attempting to board an Eastern Airlines flight to Miami.
The refugee was turned over to the FBI, police said.
Saturday night, a Delta Airlines Boeing 727 with 88 passengers was hijacked to Cuba by two Spanish-speaking males in the ninth successful air piracy since Aug. 12. The jetliner returned safely yesterday, minus the two hijackers.They were detained in Havana by Cuban authorities.