blind_html Fwd: Teen Bomb Threat Suspect Was Internet Prank-Call Star

  • From: Nimer Jaber <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 08 May 2009 08:45:20 -0600

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        Teen Bomb Threat Suspect Was Internet Prank-Call Star
Date:   Fri, 8 May 2009 14:08:40 -0000
From:   Ray T. Mahorney <coffee-craver@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To:       Blind-chit-chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To:     <Undisclosed-Recipient:;>

[Some news of the very weird. This kid is an idiot, and apparently so is
his mother. I sounds like they both need adult supervision.]

Teenage Bomb Threat Suspect Was Internet Prank-Call Star

By Kevin Poulsen
Wired News

May 7, 2009 | 4:44 pm

A 16-year-old North Carolina boy arrested for allegedly making a bomb
threat against Purdue University had a secret identity as a superstar in
an unusual online subculture — one dedicated to making prank phone calls
for a live internet audience, his mother admitted Thursday.

“I heard the prank phone calls he made,” says Annette Lundeby of Oxford.
“They were really funny prank phone calls…. He made phone calls to,
like, Walmart.”

Annette Lundeby told Raleigh, North Carolina’s WRAL TV that her son was
being unfairly held under the USA Patriot Act.

Lundeby confirmed that her son was known online as “Tyrone,” a celebrity
in a prank-calling community that grew late last year out of the
trouble-making “/b/” board on 4chan. Using the VOIP conferencing
software Ventrilo, as many as 300 listeners would gather on a server run
by Tyrone to listen to him and other amateur voice actors make
often-crude and racist phone calls, some of which are archived on
YouTube. The broadcasts were organized through websites like

A former fan of Tyrone’s work helped lead the police to Lundeby’s son
after the boy allegedly moved beyond pranks this year and began
accepting donations from students eager to miss a day of school. In
exchange for a little money, Tyrone would phone in a bomb threat that
would shutter the donor’s school for a day.

“People would pay about five dollars, and they get to submit a number,”
says Jason Bennett, a 19-year-old college student in Syndey, Australia.
“It was getting way out of hand.”

Lundeby admits that her son received donations for his prank phone
calls, but denies that he made bomb threats. She says her son was with
her, coming home from church, at the time of the February 15 phone call
that summoned a bomb squad and evacuated the mechanical engineering
building at Purdue University in Indiana.

Bennett didn’t hear the Purdue call, but he says he heard Tyrone admit
to that bomb threat later, and decided enough was enough. He contacted
university police and began helping them get the goods on “Tyrone.”

The case came to a head the night of March 5, when Tyrone made a series
of rapid-fire bomb threats against five different schools around the
United States. Bennett recorded the calls.

“This is a warning to every staff, student and anybody else who may be
in the school tomorrow afternoon at 11:00 a.m.,” the caller is heard
saying in a voicemail message for Mill Valley High School in Shawnee,

“There are twelve bombs located throughout the entire campus at the
school,” the caller continues (.mp3). “They are in random lockers
throughout the school — I will not tell you which lockers they are
located in. There are also two in the bathroom and there is one in the
gym. You have exactly one hour after 11:00 a.m. to find and disarm the
bombs. That is all I have to say. All will be cleansed.”

After leaving similar threats with four other schools, Tyrone gives
listeners his e-mail address and asks for PayPal donations. Then he
promises more calls in the morning. “I’m going to go to bed so I can
fucking wake up at 6:00 in the morning and I’m going to cancel about
eight or nine schools maybe,” he says. “You guys have fun missing school

When Tyrone signed off, Bennett immediately put the recording on his own
web server and provided a link to a Purdue University police detective
working the case, who shared it with the FBI. Police warned the schools
that very night that the calls were hoaxes, and the FBI — armed with a
search warrant and a criminal complaint — swooped in on Annette
Lundeby’s home at 10:00 p.m., seized computers and arrested her son.

Lundeby insists the “Tyrone” on the recording must be a different prank
caller using her son’s online handle and e-mail address. “I’ve asked him
about this and he doesn’t know anything about it,” she says. “There are
other people who sound like him.”

Bennett says Lundeby knew her son had made bomb threats. “His mother
knew that he was making calls, because she’d come on the microphone when
he was talking and tell him not to do any bomb threats because the house
was going to get raided,” he says. “He said he wasn’t going to do any
more bomb threats because his mom didn’t approve of them. But then he
did them anyway.”

Lundeby denies knowing anything about her son staging bomb hoaxes. But
she admits seeing a YouTube video in which “Tyrone” jokes that he’s
hidden a bomb in a box of take-out chicken.

In that call — laced with profanity and racist slurs — Tyrone is heard
phoning a New York cigar shop while watching on a webcam streamed though
the video-feed site New York City Live. When he sees a food delivery
arrive at the checkout counter, he tells the clerk, “Your chicken is
here. It contains the bomb which will detonate. It’s my bomb. It’s the
bomb that will detonate in five minutes. The fried chicken has a bomb in

“I’m not sure if that was him or not,” says Lundeby. “If you’ll notice,
the guy is also playing along with him. A lot of these calls are
pre-setup. The other person on the other end knew it had been preset.”

“He did not make the bomb threat to Purdue,” she adds. “Even so, it’s
about the Constitution.”

The arrest of Lundeby’s son stoked widespread outrage on the internet
after Raleigh, North Carolina’s WRAL-5 reported on the case, noting that
the boy is a patriotic homeschooled student with an American flag bedspread.

Much of the online fury was triggered by Lundeby’s incorrect claim —
uncritically reported by the station — that the boy was being held
without any legal rights on the authority of the 2001 USA Patriot Act.
In truth, making telephone bomb threats has been a federal crime since
1939. The teenager is being held without bail in Indiana, but he’s been
formally charged, has a court-appointed attorney, and has already made
three appearances in front of a judge. The case is sealed because the
suspect is a minor.

Responding to the internet outrage on Thursday, the U.S. attorney’s
office for the Northern District of Indiana issued a press release
emphasizing the the teenager is not being held on terrorism charges. The
case “alleges a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section
844(e), which prohibits sending false information about an attempt to
kill, injure or intimidate any individual or to unlawfully to damage any
building through an instrument of interstate commerce,” the prosecutors

“The government has filed a motion with the Court seeking to transfer
the juvenile to adult status,” the government added. “That motion is
pending before the Court and is scheduled for a hearing during the month
of May.”


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