The public got a first look on Monday at an elaborate device officials deemed to be a fake bomb that caused hours of delays at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport earlier in April.
The official twitter account of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection posted the photo of the device with the hashtag #catchoftheday.
Officials said the device was found in the luggage of Joseph Galaska, an American who was traveling from Brazil to his home in Milwaukee. Galaska made a stopover in Toronto where the device was discovered in the pre-clearance process.
The border agency referred to the convincing series of wires and knobs as a “mock IED,” or improvised explosive device, after it was confirmed that it was not actually explosive by Peel Regional Police.
United Airlines flight 547 remained grounded after the border agency launched an investigation, inspecting the aircraft and rescreening all of the passengers. Galaska was taken into custody and charged with mischief.
Maria Silvia, Galaska’s wife, later told police that device — which had colourful wires, a digital time display and batteries — was a homemade alarm clock.
“It’s a toy, I swear to God, it’s a clock,” Silvia told ABC News.
It seems that there is a market for clocks that look like bombs. Nootropic Design, a website that advertises “innovative electronics for hobbyists, designers, educations, and industry,” promises an array of different clocks that resemble bombs. They even offer a $32.95 kit that “lets you build a scary looking clock that you can actually ‘defuse.'”
Galaska was granted bail a day after his arrest, but was held over the weekend while the Canadian Border Services Agency conducted a mandatory detention review. Naomi Lutes, the man’s lawyer, told CTV that her client was on an “immigration hold.”
“All I can say is that he is looking forward to pleading not guilty at the earliest opportunity and defending against this charge,” Lutes said.