A 50-year-old man was charged yesterday after he allegedly threatened a woman with a knife at Brisbane Airport and claimed he had a bomb, resulting in an emergency evacuation of the airport's global terminal.
The incident began just before 9pm (local time) on Saturday in the terminal's food court where the man allegedly pulled out a knife and placed a metal object on a table, claiming it was a bomb, after an argument with a woman.
The man, who was shot with non-lethal bean bag rounds, was charged with a string of offences, including stalking with a weapon and assaulting police.
There were no injuries reported, and police said the emergency was not related to terrorism.
"We understand there has been considerable disruption to Brisbane International Airport tonight, we considered it important to evacuate the airport and make sure we could render everything safe", Fleming explained.
The man's first language was Arabic and an Arabic-speaking police officer was at the scene within minutes to negotiate, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said.
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Addressing the media in Brisbane, Superintendent Tony Fleming confirmed earlier fears the man at the airport was carrying an explosive turned out to be false.
The most serious charge was threatening to destroy an aviation facility, which carries a potential sentence of 10 years in prison.
He will appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday.
"The words and behaviours of the alleged offender gave police cause to need to check a number of locations on the Gold Coast for improvised explosive devices".
Assistant Commissioner Peter Crawford said the incident was "terrifying" for all involved and said the man's alleged threats seemed very real.
"There is no evidence to suggest the incident at the global airport is terrorism related; it is a domestic violence-related situation", police told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.