February 21, 2008 / 11:52 AM / 10 years ago

Cambodia to deport U.S. veteran for false threat

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia will deport a U.S. veteran who told journalists that militants were planning a rocket attack on the U.S embassy in Phnom Penh, deputy police chief Sok Phal said on Thursday.

Gerald Forbes, 63, of Hawaii, was arrested for sending e-mails to journalists asking them to spread the warning the embassy would be rocketed, then overrun, he said.

"He admitted he did it because he was angry with the slow reception of his pension. In fact there was no group to commit an act of terror," Sok Phal told Reuters without further explanation.

He said Forbes, in the country on a tourist visa, would be deported and never allowed to re-enter Cambodia.

"He has no money for a flight ticket, so we're arranging the ticket for him," Sok Phal said.

A U.S. spokesman said the embassy "never thought it a credible threat", but riot police were sent to guard the embassy on Monday night, when Forbes said the attack would take place.

Reporting by Ek Madra; Editing by Michael Battye and Jerry Norton

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