MANHATTAN, Ny. – An Ohio middle school teacher is being hailed a hero after alerting police to a possible ISIS bomb making operation in New York City on Wednesday. Forty-one year-old Judith Harrington was taking her sister’s black lab for a walk through downtown Manhattan when she encountered a suspicious device in an alley near Fifth Avenue. “I wasn’t exactly sure what it was,” Judith told Fox 5 NY, “but I had a feeling in my gut that it was meant to harm people.”
Minutes after Harrington called 911, a heavily armed NYPD emergency response team arrived on the scene and prepared to enter a nearby Syrian-owned business which police believed was linked to the suspicious device. Officers used a breaching charge to blow open the shop’s locked entrance before entering the building with their guns raised.
Once inside, police detained three employees who were found to be in possession of devices similar to the one reported by Mrs. Harrington. Members of the NYPD’s bomb squad used a bomb-disposal robot to perform a controlled demolition of the devices prior to inspection.
Authorities later determined the devices -which turned out to be iPhones, were harmless. The iPhone is a high-end cellular phone popular in many parts of the world, including the Middle East. The Manhattan shop that sells the devices, known simply as the ‘Apple Store,’ is one of thousands across the United States and is owned by Apple, the same company that produces the iPhone.
However, authorities say the founder of Apple, a man by the name of Steve Jobs, is the son of a Syrian migrant. “We’re currently looking into this information,” said FBI Special Agent Addison Brewer, who added, “Looking at this from a national security perspective, it’s hard to imagine why an individual of Syrian descent would choose to open an electronics shop in New York City.”
Special Agent Brewer noted that Jobs’ father is from the Syrian city of Aleppo, a major supply point for the Islamic State.
New York City’s mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at a joint press conference with the NYPD, called Judith Harrington a “hero” for “exhibiting quick thinking in the face of danger” and presented her with a key to the city. “The average American isn’t an explosive ordnance expert,” he said. “I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in this day and age who can positively tell a phone from a bomb.”
Jim Boone, an iPhone user and Manhattan resident who witnessed the police raid, said he wasn’t aware of Jobs’ Syrian heritage. The new revelation has Boone considering switching to an Android phone. “It’s a little unsettling,” he said. “Especially after what happened in Paris.”