Hussein Abdi Hassan, 24, pleaded guilty to false information/hoaxes. Sentencing has been set for Aug. 22.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, after Hassan was arrested and escorted off the train for disorderly conduct on Feb. 14, he told a Glacier County Sheriff's deputy that he had left "something very dangerous" on the train. The train's conductor had called ahead to the sheriff's office and requested that Hassan be taken off at the Browning train depot because he was intoxicated and extremely disruptive.
Based upon the threat, the Amtrak train was stopped a short while later in a field between Browning and East Glacier. The Glacier County Sheriff's Office arranged for approximately 140 passengers to be transported by bus to the Browning Middle School, where community volunteers took care of them. In order to get to the buses, passengers had to walk approximately 75 feet across a frozen pond in extremely snowy and windy conditions.
An explosives team from Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls later searched the train after it was evacuated and found no explosives.
A report by the Glacier County Sheriff's Office states that Hassan had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath when he was arrested. This is the sequence of events from that point on, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office:
While the deputy who arrested him was taking him to the sheriff's office in his squad car, Hassan demanded to know why he was being arrested.
"This is not right, I paid for a f- - - ing train ride, and where is my bag?" Hassan said. The deputy responded that he did not get off the train with a bag, at which point Hassan began to laugh, and said, "Damn fools, all of you."
After Hassan asked again about his bag, he reportedly told the deputy, "No one will survive on that train."
When the deputy asked him why, Hassan reportedly said, "It has something very dangerous in it."
The deputy asked whether it was a bomb, to which Hassan responded, "Yes, do you even know who is on that train?" The deputy said, no and asked who, to which Hassan replied, "Very dangerous people, very dangerous. My bag was not locked and it can be anywhere, because I do not know where it is at now."
The deputy asked Hassan whether he was lying, to which he responded, "I am Muslim, I cannot lie." Hassan then stated to the deputy, "We can sell our story to CNN for a large amount. I'll be famous for awhile."
During pretrial motions before his guilty plea, Hassan's defense claimed that those statements were not admissible in court because Hassan was never informed of his Miranda rights when he was arrested. The prosecution responded that Hassan made those statements voluntarily and that a defendant's Miranda rights only apply to interrogations, not voluntary statements. A hearing on that motion was set for today, but was vacated after Hassan's guilty plea.
Hassan faces possible penalties of 5 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The U.S. Attorney's office also indicated Monday that it would seek restitution of $250,000 to $275,000.
Hassan was also charged in Glacier County District Court in February with two felony charges of criminal endangerment and one misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. He is being held at the Cascade County Regional Detention Center.
According to a March detention order signed by U.S. Magistrate Keith Strong, Hassan is not a U.S. citizen and could be deported back to Somalia upon conviction. Strong ordered that Hassan be held while the charges were being processed because he was deemed as a "serious" flight risk with no ties to Montana Tribune