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Student Allegedly Sent E-Mail Anthrax Threats

November 9, 2001

A University of Detroit student was arrested on Thursday, charged with using the Internet to send anthrax threats to more than two dozen people, according to the FBI.

The FBI said that 22-year-old Timothy Jones e-mailed anthrax threats across the country from the university's computer lab and then quickly left so that he wouldn't get caught.

Jones sent threats on Oct. 31, according to investigators, to people who worked for the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and the FBI.

The messages began: "To all who will listen, there have been anthrax letters sent to Cody High School, Cass Tech, Malcolm High School, Henry Ford High School, Northland Mall, Wayne State University and Wayne County Community College. Take this with caution."

He also sent threatening e-mails about anthrax to Dick's Sporting Goods stores across the country.

Jones allegedly signed the letters with a fictious Arabic name.

A day later, he sent threatening e-mails to Dick's Sporting Goods stores across the country.

According to testimony in court on Friday, the FBI traced the e-mails back to two specific computers at the university lab. Using student sign-in logs, times of the e-mails and surveillance video, the FBI identified Jones as the man who sent the threats.

At first, Jones denied the charges and said that someone tapped into his account. But, investigators said that once Jones was confronted with the surveillance video evidence, he confessed.

He told the FBI that he was angry at the Dick's store in Troy for passing him over for promotion. The threats disrupted business at Dick's stores across the country. The chain, according to officials, destroyed mail for an entire week. The FBI said that no traces of anthrax were found at any of the locations.

Jones said it was just a harmless prank. On Friday, Jones was locked up, awaiting a psychiatric exam.


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