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A dopey MIT student's art stunt bombed big-time yesterday when she was arrested at gunpoint after wearing a phony bomb into an airport terminal.

Star Simpson was sporting a computer circuit board with flashing lights and wires - all, apparently, in the name of art - as she prepared to walk back inside a terminal at Boston's Logan Airport.

Simpson, who was carrying Play-Doh in her hands, ended up with submachine guns in her face after the boneheaded stunt.

"She said that it was a piece of art and she wanted to stand out on career day," State Police Maj. Scott Pare said.

The supposedly smart MIT student wore a wired black sweatshirt with the phrases "Socket to me" and "Course VI" written on the back.

"I'm shocked and appalled that somebody would wear this type of device to an airport," Pare said.

Simpson pleaded not guilty to disturbing the peace.

The 19-year-old sophomore from Hawaii first aroused suspicions when she approached an airport worker inside the terminal while wearing the bomblike device. When she walked outside, she was pounced on by police.

"She was immediately told to stop, to raise her hands and not to make any movement, so we could observe all her movements to see if she was trying to trip any type of device," Pare said. "Had she not followed the protocol, we might have used deadly force."

Simpson told police she was at the airport to pick up someone flying in from Oakland. "She did seem a bit upset that she was in custody," Pare said. "However, she was rational, and she did answer all questions as required."

It was the second stunt in recent months to shake Boston into high alert for fear of a terrorist attack. In January, bomb squads were set into action when dozens of battery-powered devices that turned out to be ads for the Cartoon Network were found around the city.


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