Published on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Girl arrested for prank tweet to American Airlines

A Dutch teenager who sent a threatening tweet to American Airlines as a joke has been arrested after walking into a police station and giving herself up.

However, the 14-year-old's prank has set off a chain of copycat tweets to American and other US airlines.

The girl, who uses the twitter name @QueenDemetriax, is being interviewed by officers after she apparently appeared at the police station in Rotterdam, accompanied by a relative.

She has not been charged with any offence.

American Airlines had threatened to report her to the FBI after she tweeted: "hello my name's Ibrahim and I'm from Afghanistan. I'm part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I'm gonna do something really big bye"

American Airlines responded, saying it took all threats seriously and had passed her IP (Internet Protocol) address to the FBI.

It is not clear if the airline carried out its threat after the girl apologised profusely on twitter for the prank, said she was only 14 and scared, and deleted her original tweet.

Since her arrest, dozens of Twitter trolls have tweeted bomb threats, most of them aimed at American Airlines but some have named Southwest and USAirways.

One said: @AmericanAir You really seem to not care that i'm about to bomb your plane that's headed to Paris. Btw, my name is Ahmed.

Another wrote: @AmericanAir I have a bomb under the next plane to take off

And a third joked: @SouthwestAir I bake really good pies and my friends call me ″the bomb" am I still allowed to fly?

It is not clear whether American Airlines and other carriers are investigating all of the prank tweets.

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  • Many years ago...

    ...when cyberspace was new, I used to say of it, "...Never post anything online that you'd not be happy to read on the front page of the News of the World..." Well, even though that newspaper has long gone, I still stick by that advice. Once anything is in cyberspace - be that by Twitter, Facebook - or even on sites such as this - it immediately becomes public property. And, if someone wants to spread it around the world, then that is what will happen. Sadly those who tweet rubbish don't realise that it's not just their Twitter friends that get the message - it's potentially the whole world (including, of course, the police and other authorities. "If you don't want the world to know it, then don't say it"

    By Richard English, Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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