The 20-year old man who posted a threat against seven NFL stadiums on the internet is being charged by the Federal authorities. Details of the charges will be released later today. The man admitted writing the threat as part of a "writing contest" to see who could come up with the scariest fake threat.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark did not immediately identify the man but said in a news release announcing the charge that he would be in court in Milwaukee later Friday.
One of the stadiums allegedly targeted was Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Thedetermined the threats were a hoax on Thursday.
A joint statement from the FBI andDepartment said fans "should be reassured of their security as they continue to attend sporting events this weekend."
An FBI official in Washington, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is still under investigation, told The Associated Press that a Milwaukee man acknowledged posting the phony stadium threat as part of a "writing duel" with a man from the Brownsville, Texas, area to see who could post the scariest threat.
The Texas man corroborated the story during questioning Thursday by FBI agents, the official said.
This falls into the same category as falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. One hopes the authorities makes a hard example here. Then maybe other people will figure out that this sort of thing is a form of stupidity that can land you in prison.
UPDATE: Boy, am I good. The Federal prosecutor said the exact same thing in a press conference. Which either means great minds think alike or that he reads Blue Crab Boulevard for advice. Let's go with the great minds, though.
"These types of hoaxes scare innocent people, cost business resources and waste valuable homeland security resources. We cannot tolerate this Internet version of yelling fire in a crowded theater in the post-9/11 era," said U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie in Newark, N.J., where Brahm was charged in a sealed complaint filed Thursday. One of the stadiums mentioned was Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Brahm was charged with making a terrorist threat over the Internet, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine. When the potential sentence was read in court Friday afternoon, his mother, Victoria Brahm, with whom he lives, closed her eyes and put her hand over her mouth.
U.S. Magistrate Patricia Gorence released Jake Brahm without bail, citing his spotless record and strong community ties. She prohibited him from using the Internet or traveling outside Wisconsin and New Jersey, where his lawyer said he plans to make a court appearance.
Just in case, it's time to have a little chat with my kids about what is and isn't free speech.