A Chinese-born Australian man said yesterday that US authorities had overreacted to the bomb scare he had sparked when he stood outside of Washington's Capitol building with two suitcases and demanded to speak to US President George W. Bush.
Wenhao Zhao, 33, told reporters on arrival to his hometown Sydney's airport that he wanted "just to speak about normal topics like weather, like architecture and buildings" with Bush.
"Basic things about his family, his daughters, about myself," Zhao added.
Zhao had stationed himself on the west side of the Capitol on Monday with two suitcases by his side and demanded to speak to Bush. Police tackled and dragged him away, fearing Zhao was a possible suicide bomber.
Police later blew up the suitcases, which contained a CD player.
Zhao was deported to Australia on Friday for violating terms of his visa status, Homeland Security Department officials said.
Carrying the remnants of the luggage that sparked the scare, Zhao said yesterday police had overreacted "a little bit but not too much, as they have suffered from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."
Zhao, who became an Australian citizen last year, said he was accompanied on the United Airlines flight from San Francisco, California, by an Australian embassy official, but no security guards.
Zhao said he had not enjoyed life in Australia since migrating from China in 2000 and had considered moving to the US. He said he had no job and had lost his wife.
"I always regarded the United States as the strongest military force in the world and I always believe that they regard the person with value ... not like animals," he said.
Asked about his future plans, he said: "I don't know. I will see what Australia or this [Australian] government can give me."
Australian authorities say he faces no charges.
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