Minn. Man Pleads Guilty to False Threat on Amtrak

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – A Minnesota man has pleaded guilty to making a threat that led to the evacuation of an Amtrak train in northern Montana in February.

The U.S. attorney’s office says Hussein Abdi Hassan, 24, of Minneapolis pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal charge of false information and hoaxes. U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon scheduled sentencing for Aug. 22.

Prosecutors say Hassan, who remains in custody, was removed from an Amtrak train in Browning on Feb. 14 for being intoxicated and disruptive. As he was being driven to the police station he made statements to the deputy implying that there was something dangerous in his bag and that there were dangerous people on the train.

Based on the threat, the train was stopped between Browning and East Glacier and 140 passengers were evacuated. In order to get to buses, the passengers had to walk 75 feet across a frozen pond in snowy and windy conditions. The passengers were held at a middle school while the train was searched for explosives. None were found.

The threat delayed the train by 11 hours, also holding up other train traffic along the line.

Hassan faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.