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American charged in Internet bomb threat conspiracy

A 16-year-old American was indicted for his role in transmitting via Internet several bomb threats against US universities, high schools and FBI offices, the Department of Justice said yesterday.

world Updated: Jul 09, 2009 13:19 IST

A 16-year-old American was indicted for his role in transmitting via Internet several bomb threats against US universities, high schools and FBI offices, the Department of Justice said on Wednesday.

Ashton Lundeby is being charged as an adult for conducting an “extensive conspiracy” in which he and other unnamed individuals made bomb threats against Purdue University and Indiana University, both in the state of Indiana.

He also made threats against the University of North Carolina and Boston College, the department said in a statement.

The perpetrators also directed bomb threats to Federal Bureau of Investigation offices in Colorado and Louisiana, it added.

Lundeby, who went by his online moniker “Tyrone,” and his co-conspirators used Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software to set up large conference calls in which participants paid money to witness police reaction to the non-existent emergency online in real time.

The three-charge indictment “also alleges that as part of the conspiracy, conspirators offered, for a nominal fee, to make bomb threat calls -- often to high schools -- to cause closures,” the Justice Department statement said.

Such bomb threats were made to high schools or middle schools in five different states on or about March 4, two days before Lundeby was arrested by the FBI.

“This type of activity on the Internet will not be tolerated,” US attorney David Capp said in the statement.

“No matter where you are located, conduct like this will be thoroughly investigated and, where appropriate, presented for indictment.”

Lundeby conducted the activity from his personal computer at his home in Oxford, North Carolina, according to the department statement.

He is to appear before a judge on Friday.