Last Saturday, an Indian teen from Uttar Pradesh’s Jalaun district has been detained and interrogated by the local Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) for threatening to blow up the US Miami International airport.
According to his threats, the youth intended to take revenge for Bitcoins stolen from him by a US-based fraudster — and also for the FBI’s uncooperative attitude.
Last month was really hot for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). From Oct 2 to Oct 31, an unidentified terrorist made five calls to the Miami airport, threatening to attack it.
He made these calls using Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP) and fake identities/e-mail IDs. When the FBI traced the calls, it found out they all had been made from a small Indian town in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
In close cooperation with India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), the FBI tracked down the caller on the basis of his IP address and then the UP ATS detained the terrorist, who turned out to be an 18-year-old boy described by his school administration and family members as a ‘bright student.’
Fake Terrorist, Real Fraudster
Being questioned by the police, the high school student explained that the threats were made in retaliation for an improper reaction from authorities regarding his complaints about the case of Bitcoin fraud.
He told the investigators that he had invested $1,000, borrowed from his father, in Bitcoins and managed to make a big profit — but then he had been conned in an online chat forum by an unknown person claiming he was from the US. The fraudster lured the teen into a crypto deal by promising him tempting returns, took all his bitcoins, and then (predictably) disappeared.
The cheated boy wanted the FBI to take action over this case because he had no faith in Indian police. He filed a complaint and the FBI reportedly took up the case. However, the student still considered the Bureau’s response unsatisfactory. Over the month, he made at least 50 calls to the FBI, but since the agency still didn’t help him to recoup lost money, he turned nasty and proceeded to make threats.
The Heat of Passion
According to senior ATS officers, although the teen was detained and questioned, he was not arrested due to his age. The police also took into consideration the good references given to the culprit by his school and by family members and concluded that his threats had been childish and unintentional.
However, the authorities still have charged him with a number of crimes under the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act for issuing anonymous terror threats over the Internet. Moreover, the ATS confiscated from his home all the technical devices, including his computer and mobile phone — which is probably the most severe punishment for the teen.
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