A man caught trying to bring what he called a homemade bomb into the lobby of Jersey City Medical Center in a backpack told police he was a CIA agent looking for a place to discard the diffused device, authorities said.
A security guard who heard him talking tackled 29-year-old Bradford Phieffer, who authorities said has a long history of mental illness.
Police, who shattered the device with a water cannon, said they couldn’t figure out how he would would have detonated it.
The device was made of two automotive speakers, a plastic bottle cap with a hole drilled through it, and a plastic bag — all with a strong odor of a flammable liquid, they said.
Besides clearing the lobby, officials at the hospital moved emergency room patients to other facilities and sealed off the complex to visitors.
Dozens of employees then helped move everyone away from the windows before the device was detonated.
Phieffer is being held in the Hudson County Jail in Kearny on charges of causing false public alarm and making terroristic threats.
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