Tefillin Spark Bomb Alert

December 12, 2010 by J-Wire
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An Israeli putting on his tefillin on an interisland New Zealand ferry has sparked a massive bomb scare alert.

Kaitaki Ferry

The incident happened earlier today on the vessel Kaitaki as it plied between Wellington and Picton crossing the sound between New Zealand’s two main islands.

Media reports state that the captain of the vessel spotted the Israeli after he had put on the tefillin and believed him to be wired up. He reported the incident to police in Picton putting them on full armed offenders alert.

The crew spent a nervous three hours as the vessel completed the remaining three hours of the journey but most of the 750 passengers aboard the vessel were unaware of the scare.

Police detained the tourist and two of his travelling companions when emergency services met the vessel on arrival at Picton. The Israelis were questioned and released.

A police spokesman said the Israelis had a military background and were quite understanding of the incident.

“Kaitaki” means “challenger” in the Maori language.I

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