A West Virginia man pleaded guilty on Monday to making a hoax 911 call last year in which he threatened to blow up the Statue of Liberty, leading to the evacuation of thousands of visitors from the New York Harbor landmark, federal prosecutors said.
Jason Paul Smith, 42, of Harts, West Virginia, entered the plea in federal court to a single count of conveying false and misleading information and hoaxes, the office of Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.
Smith made a 911 call from his iPad on April 24, 2015, using a service for the hearing impaired, it said. He identified himself as an "ISI terrorist" named "Abdul Yasin" and said "we" were planning to blow up the Statue, according to the statement.
It was not immediately clear where the suspect was when he made the call. Smith was arrested in Lubbock, Texas, in August.
Lawyers representing Smith could not be reached immediately for comment.
A search of Liberty Island using explosive-sniffing dogs turned up nothing, but not before about 3,200 people were evacuated. The U.S. National Park Service reopened the island a day later.
The Statue of Liberty, a colossal torch-bearing figure that symbolizes American freedom, draws 4 million visitors a year. It stands on a small island, within view of the site where the World Trade Center was destroyed in an attack by militants on Sept. 11, 2001.
Smith's iPad had been used previously to make at least two hoax 911 calls in May 2015 threatening to attack New York's Times Square and to kill police officers at the Brooklyn Bridge.
Smith is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Vernon Broderick on Sept. 16. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, prosecutors said.
The Statue of Liberty, a gift to the United States from the people of France, was formally opened in 1886. The statue was closed for nearly eight months due to damage to the island by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.