Two French television journalists charged with trying to ship bogus bombs through Kennedy International Airport to test security don't believe the act was illegal, their attorney said.
"They did not intend to violate the law and we don't believe they have," said John Wing, lawyer for Alain Chaillou and Bruce Frankel, who work for the French television station TF1 in New York City.U.S. Attorney Andrew Maloney said Thursday he was pressing charges against the two men because "this type of irresponsible behavior can invite a lot of crackpots to do the same thing."
In Wednesday's incident, three packages containing bogus bombs were left for shipment at the small cargo areas of TWA, Pan Am and Air France, Port Authority police said.
The packages also contained a typed message that read in part: "Congratulations! You have found our phony bomb! (made with molding clay, one alarm clock and wires)," said authority spokesman Armando Arrastia.
The message was written on the letterhead of the television station, he said.
The incident came about two weeks after a Pan Am Boeing 747 from London to New York exploded over Scotland, killing all 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground. Investigators have blamed the crash on a bomb planted on the jet.
Chaillou, the station's New York bureau chief, and Frankel, a producer, were charged with "willfully and maliciously" conspiring to violate the federal Air Safety Act.