NEWS

Prankster Gets 6 Months in Jail for Terror Hoax

By Matthew Harwood

A 22-year-old Wisconsin man was sentenced to six months in prison yesterday for claiming online that terrorists were going to set off radioactive "dirty bombs" at seven NFL football stadiums, according to U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie.

The convicted, Jake J. Brahm of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, posted the message approximately 40 times online between September and October 2006 on the Web site 4chan.org, a site he called "outrageous," the Associated Press reports.

The postings warned that a string of radioactive dirty bombs would be detonated by terrorists at seven football stadiums in Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston, Miami, New York City, Oakland, and Seattle.

The attack against New York City referred to Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Christie explained.

The messages also claimed that the bombs would be delivered by trucks and that "the death toll will approach 100,000 from the initial blasts and countless other fatalities will later occur as result from radioactive fallout."

Brahm also wrote that Osama Bin Laden would describe the attack as "America's Hiroshima" and that the attacks would cause "global conflicts to erupt in their wake," says Christie. The original posting carried an embedded picture of the World Trade Center after both planes had crashed into the Twin Towers.

Brahm pleaded guilty in late February to a one count indictment of "willfully conveying false information" of the terrorist attacks.

U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares called Brahm's Internet postings "a sick hoax."

"I'd also characterize his conduct as cruel and dangerous," Christie added.

Brahm's attorney, Walter A. Lesnevich, asked for leniency for Brahm, describing his client as an "'unsophisticated kid' who was immersed in the Web site's culture," according to the AP.

Despite Lesnevich's attempts to minimize his client's actions, said Michael Drewniak of the U.S. Department of Justice's Public Affairs Office, Brahm's actions were "malicious and purposeful."

In addition to serving six months in prison, Judge Linares ordered an additional six months of house arrest for Brahm and ruled he will pay $26,750 in restitution—$18,000 to the Cleveland Browns and $8,750 to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority—for the price of extra police and security and bomb-sniffing dogs at Clevand Browns Stadium and Giants Stadium.

Brahm is to surrender to the Bureau of Federal Prisons no later than July 21.

 

 

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