The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

21 September 2007

Logan Bomb Scare Caused By MIT Student Star Anna Simpson


MIT Student Nearly Killed Over Asinine Bomb 'Art'

*** Updates Below ***

What is it about fake bombs and the Boston area?

For the second time in less than a year, a phony explosive device has triggered a major security scare, this time at Logan Airport. For a 19- year- old MIT student, this stupid prank could have resulted in a quick death. State police have been quick to point out that she's lucky to be alive.

From the Boston Herald's ongoing news coverage:

A 19-year-old MIT sophomore waltzed into Boston’s Logan International Airport this morning with what appeared to be a lit-up fake bomb strapped to her chest triggering an all-out security scramble.

The student, Star Anna Simpson, said it was a “piece of art” she wanted to show off, authorities said.

Simpson pleaded innocent today in East Boston District Court to a charge of possession of a hoax device. Her bail was set at $750. Prosecutors were seeking $5,000.

Her boyfriend,Tim Anderson, posted her $750 bail soon after.

Simpson is due back in court October 29.

“She’s a wonderful person,” said Anderson who refused further comment at the court.

Simpson was arrested at gunpoint at lower Terminal C with the circuit board and battery attached to her chest this morning.

Simpson is lucky she cooperated with state police, a Massport spokesman said.

“If she hadn’t done exactly what they told her to do, she’d be lying in a morgue right now instead of sitting in a cell awaiting arraignment,” said Matthew Brelis.

Simpson is a native of Hawaii who studies electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, according to her profile on her college Web site.

As for the device: “She wanted to stand out on career day,” state police Major Scott Pare said Simpson told police.

Simpson arrived at Terminal C at 8 a.m. today wearing the device with lights and wires strapped around her hooded sweatshirt, according to Massport. The device was connected to a hand-held putty device, said Massport spokeswoman Lisa Langone.

For the news business, especially talk radio, this new incident instantly pumped up what would have been a slow Friday for fresh content. According to the Herald, this story is generating a mountain of feedback, with most readers furious over the student's actions.

(Note to readers: how have hosts in your area handled this topic? Please let your Radio Equalizer know)

Though we don't yet have a good sense of her motives, she has referred to the fake bomb attached to her body as "art". Radar has discovered her online site, which might provide further details.

While many Americans would assume it takes brains to get into a school like MIT, social intelligence is obviously not a requirement for admission. Beyond the fact that she succeeded in terrorizing airport passengers and wiped out her own career potential, her school's reputation has taken a major hit today.

Has Simpson been influenced by Noam Chomsky? Somebody should look into that.

UPDATES: From the Boston Herald's Saturday coverage, it's clear these MIT kids are a bunch of dangerous brats:

The Logan scare was the second MIT-related incident that has created chaos this month. On Sept. 6, a cleanup crew working the banks of the Charles River was burned when it retrieved metallic sodium. Although the exact source of the substance remains under investigation, the annual “sodium drop” is a tradition for MIT students.

Yesterday, MIT released a statement calling Simpson’s actions “reckless.”

A member of the MIT Electric Research Society, Simpson’s on-campus club, said she did nothing wrong. “Boston is full of idiots who think LEDs are bombs,” he said.

Boston endured a major security scare Jan. 31, when authorities discovered dozens of battery-powered devices around the city that turned out to be part of a promotion for the Cartoon Network.

“Enough with the guerrilla art. It’s irresponsible. . . . What did she actually think was going to happen?” asked Juliette Kayyem, undersecretary of Homeland Security.To Alyson Low, whose 28-year-old sister Sara was a flight attendant on one of the planes hijacked six years ago, yesterday’s drama was “painful” to watch.

“She had better be given a jail cell surrounded by the photographs of all the people who left that airport and never came back,” Low said. “With freedom comes responsibility. And she showed none.”

Temporarily benched talk host Howie Carr weighs in here:

And now we meet the latest college kid to screw up the lives of people who have to work for a living. Young Star Simpson, 19, MIT sophomore, of Hawaii. Bringing a fake bomb into Logan Airport gives new meaning to the term sophomoric behavior.

Star is lucky, damn lucky, she was not shot dead right there in Terminal C, and kudos to the State Police for pointing out that obvious fact for once rather than beating around the bush.

Explained State Police Major Scott Pare: “She said that it was a piece of art and she wanted to stand out on career day.”

For which she could get a new career: jailbird.

I guarantee you Star was never spanked as a kid. So now she needs a timeout. How does three-to-five sound?

The problem is, those two loser punks from the Cartoon Network - they didn’t do any time, even after they came out of the courthouse and gave everybody the proverbial finger.

How much do you want to bet Star’s got a trust fund, and that her parents are aging hippie types?

Before today, the brilliant students of MIT were most recently in the news for trying to set fire to the Charles River. In their off hours, these brainiacs drink themselves to death at fraternity parties across the river in Boston.
These MIT students are not to be confused with the BU scholars, who riot in Kenmore Square and set fire to cars after athletic events.

And down the road from BU is Boston College, where wacky college kids can be found handcuffed to light poles outside Mary Ann’s. And back across the river is Harvard, home of America’s future leaders, who amuse themselves after Saturday football games by peeing in public and then calling Momsy and Pater when some cops have the temerity to lug them.

What makes MIT's childish stunts especially alarming is that its students obviously have superior technical skills. In the past, our society was safe in assuming these kids would put their talent to use in ways that would benefit our country and the world.

Now, it's becoming clear that's not the case at all. We need to investigate what these children are doing on campus and determine whether there is any possible threat to America's future.

While facing a global war on terror, the last thing we need is a new generation of Angela Davis- types with bomb- making skills.

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Image: Boston Globe, Boston Herald


  • It makes me think this country has gone insane! This thing is like a homemade bike light. It is in the shape of a star (hmm...her name is also Star.)

    Would a person be arrested for bringing a flashlight to the airport?

    Doesn't a laptop computer look more like a bomb than that thing?

    I am seriously concerned about our law enforcement officers. It seems a terrorist with any sense would hide the explosive device or at least make a demand and state that he/she had an explosive device.

    This thing was in plain view and its most explosive part is a 9 volt battery.

    It is near beyond belief that the newspapers call it a fake bomb and the police say they would have killed the girl if she did not comply with their instructions.

    Why was she charged with anything?

    By Blogger Unknown, at 21 September, 2007 17:07  

  • D said:
    It seems a terrorist with any sense would hide the explosive device or at least make a demand and state that he/she had an explosive device.

    Hey D, have you ever heard of a suicide bomber. They do not make demands and orate about their plans. They just mingle into the crowd and blow everyone into pieces.

    With comments like the one from "D", I agree there are insane people in the country. "D" is at the front of the line.

    In retrospect, I think "D"s comments are probably not really hers. She is just trying to heat up some debate with idiotic oxymorons such as "a terrorist with any sense". WTF?

    No one could be as ignorant about reality as she tries to portray herself.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 21 September, 2007 21:34  

  • Are the imaginary "suicide bombers" related to the imaginary "Islamofascists", or have they all morphed into robots now?

    I forgot. It's definitely George Soros' fault.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 21 September, 2007 23:00  

  • Odd, but the TSA had issued an alrt to all airports last month related to terrorist "dry runs" in which people were found testing security with "wires, LEDs, circuit boards, putty and other items". Reports were sent in from several airports regarding such incidents noting an increase last month, so her actions were especially worrisome to authorities.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 22 September, 2007 02:23  

  • "Are the imaginary "suicide bombers" related to the imaginary "Islamofascists","

    "Imaginary"? You ignorant, petulant gasbag, where do you think 2 of the planes that hit the WTC originated? Crawl back under your rock...

    By Blogger Rick in Duxbury, at 23 September, 2007 11:28  

  • Rick that idiot thinks bombs were planted by Bush.

    Hash needs to stick some wires in his ass and go resist arrest at the airport.

    By Blogger pf1, at 24 September, 2007 07:30  

  • More manufactured terror, thwarted..


    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 25 September, 2007 01:09  

  • There were suicide bombers in the WTC attacks? News to me, especially because all the terrorist involved in WTC were from saudi arabia... I'd thought that they'd mainly been caused by Sunni extremists mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan... Curiously you seem to be confusing people in the country you invaded for some of you allies, the saudis. But what can I say, I'm just from some backwater convict state across the pacific...

    And FYI, that looks nothing like a bomb, and anyone wanting to get a bomb on a plane would make some attempt to hide it...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 27 August, 2008 10:06  

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