At around 9pm yesterday police were called to the worldwide terminal following reports of a man in the food court armed with a knife and threatening a woman known to him, according to a Queensland Police Service statement released today.
Police released the image today, Commissioner Ian Stewart said, to "show you what our officers faced and to reinforce that was don't shut down an global airport lightly".
"This is to reinforce the message that police do not take a decision to shut an worldwide airport down lightly and to show exactly what our officers were confronted with when they arrived".
Brisbane Airport was reopened shortly after midnight, however passengers have been warned that delays are expected to continue well into Sunday.
Meanwhile a woman said when she asked what was going on, she was told by an officer the Surfers Paradise situation "was connected to what was going on in Brisbane" and allegedly told her to "connect the dots", according to the Courier Mail.
The man's first language was Arabic and an Arabic-speaking police officer was at the scene within minutes to negotiate, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said.
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"I think this photo (of the fake bomb) clearly indicate the extraordinary lengths that a person has gone to to create a perception of risk, threat and fear".
The man will appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday. "The alleged behaviors ... what he was saying, what he was doing was certainly terrifying".
Despite the bomb threat, police said the matter was not terrorist-related.
Canberra introduced sweeping new security laws a year ago that included allowing Australian police to conduct random identity checks at airports.
Assistant Police Commissioner Peter Crawford said the man's statements led police to search a number of premises and vehicles for improvised explosive devices.
The alleged offender was known to police prior to last night's incident and is of Middle Eastern descent.