'Bomb' Attached to Australia Girl a 'Very Elaborate Hoax'

Madeleine Pulver is 'uncomfortable' but OK
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2011 6:42 AM CDT
Police work outside a house in the Sydney suburb of Mosman, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, where Madeleine Pulver was chained to a fake bomb for 10 hours.   (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
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(Newser) – A device, thought to be a bomb, attached to an Australian teen for 10 hours yesterday was actually "a very, very elaborate hoax," police say. A masked man affixed the device to Madeleine Pulver, 18, with "a chain or something similar," says an officer, which took some time to remove and "added to the trauma that Madeleine experienced." The device "was made and certainly gave the appearance of a legitimate improvised explosive device," which was why police had to take the situation seriously.

Who's behind it? Police say the Pulvers did not appear to be a random target, but won't confirm it was an extortion attempt. Madeleine's father is the chief executive of a tech company with clients including Microsoft, IBM, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Toshiba, Motorola, and government agencies. "There were some instructions left by the offender at the scene and those instructions will provide us with further lines for inquiry," the officer says. Madeleine, who the Sydney Morning Herald says was in "good spirits" throughout the ordeal, is doing fine but will be "uncomfortable for some time" due to the awkward position she was trapped in, police say.

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