FBI Uses Fake News Story to Nab Seattle Area High School Bomb Threat Suspect

The agency is defending its use of an Associated Press story on a phony Seattle Times web page to make an arrest in the case.

Using a fake news story on a bogus Seattle Times web page, the FBI planted software in the computer of a suspect in a series of bomb threats to Timberlake High School in 2007, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, who obtained documents in the case.

The documents show the FBI posted an Associated Press report of bomb threats at Thurston Country with an email link “in the style of The Seattle Times,” according to a report in the Seattle Times. It was sent to a juvenile suspect’s website where he allegedly clicked it on, revealing his location and Internet Protocol information to the agent.

The FBI is defending their use of the fake web page, which has angered the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington D.C., the Associated Press and the Seattle Times.

“Every effort we made in this investigation had the goal of preventing a tragic event like what happened at Marysville and Seattle Pacific University,” said Frank Montoya Jr., the special agent in charge of the FBI in Seattle. “We identified a specific subject of an investigation and used a technique that we deemed would be effective in preventing a possible act of violence in a school setting.”

Seattle Times editor Kathy Best said the use of her paper crossed line between journalism and government.


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Tagged with: FBI Investigations

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