Federal authorities have charged a Northeastern University worker with planting a hoax bomb on campus, after which claiming he was injured by a blast that by no means occurred.
Jason Duhaime was arrested in Texas and charged with “conveying false information and hoaxes related to an explosive device and making materially false and fictitious statements in a matter within the executive branch of the government of the United States.”
“Our city more than most knows all too well that a report or threat of an explosion is a very serious matter and necessitates an immediate and significant law enforcement response, given the potential devastation that can ensue,” U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins stated throughout a press convention Tuesday asserting the arrest.
Duhaime labored as the brand new expertise supervisor and director of the Immersive Media Lab at Northeastern. According to the affidavit filed as a part of the federal prison grievance, he referred to as 911 on Sept. 13 to say he discovered a case that contained an explosive and a “violent note.” The observe discovered was a screed about expertise that name-checked Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and threatened to explode the lab.
But the case “did not bear any marks, dents, cracks, holes, or other signs that it had been exposed to a forceful or explosive discharge of any type or magnitude,” FBI Special Agent Steven Kimball wrote within the affidavit. “Likewise, aside from several fold marks, the Letter was pristine.”
Duhaime advised the police on the scene that there was a second case, which was within the lab’s storage closet. Bomb technicians X-rayed the field, discovered it was empty, however determined to detonate it as a precaution.
He additionally stated he was injured when “very sharp” objects flew out of the primary case, and he was taken to the hospital for analysis. Duhaime confirmed responders “superficial marks or bruises on his lower forearms,” however his long-sleeved shirt confirmed no indicators of harm.
During its investigation into the incident, brokers seized a pc utilized by Duhaime. On it, they discovered a backup file that contained a “word-for-word, electronic” copy of the letter he stated he discovered with the case. The file’s metadata confirmed the letter was created at 3 p.m. on Sept. 13.
“This is inconsistent with DUHAIME’s statements to the JTTF Agent insofar as he claimed the Letter was found inside the Subject Case, and that the Subject Case was present in the mail area in Meserve Hall on September 12, 2022,” Kimball wrote. “In other words, because the metadata indicates that the Letter was not created until September 13th, the Letter could not have been placed inside the Subject Case on September 12th.”
A request for remark from Duhaime’s protection lawyer was not instantly returned. Duhaime has previously denied any involvement with writing the observe or putting the instances on campus.
“We believe Mr. Duhaime wanted to be the victim but instead victimized his entire community by instilling fear at college campuses in Massachusetts and beyond,” Joseph Bonavolonta, the particular agent in command of the FBI’s Boston workplace, stated throughout Tuesday’s press convention.
Duhaime is predicted to make his first court docket look earlier than a Justice of the Peace in Texas Tuesday afternoon.