News @ AsiaOne

Man arrested over online bomb threat

Post was comment on Boston blasts; 2nd probe on S'pore marathon threat. -ST
Walter Sim

Mon, Apr 22, 2013
The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - A man was arrested on Thursday for allegedly making an online threat to bomb several locations in Singapore, the police said last night.

It was one of two separate bomb threats made in Singapore this week, in the wake of the Boston Marathon blasts on Monday that killed three people and injured 176.

The Straits Times understands that the post was made as a comment on an article about the Boston blasts on the Yahoo! News Singapore website.

A police spokesman, responding to queries from The Straits Times, said: "Preliminary investigations indicate that the suspect had no intention or means to carry out his threats. Investigations are ongoing."

The 34-year-old man was arrested at Sengkang Central within 24 hours of the police report lodged on Wednesday.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Keok Tong San said of the arrest: "Police will take swift and firm action against those who threaten the sense of safety and security in Singapore by making such irresponsible remarks while hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet."

Meanwhile, a separate probe is still underway into a threat to bomb December's Singapore Marathon, made on the AsiaOne forum on Thursday. No arrests have been made yet.

The annual Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) is the country's largest sporting event. It attracted 53,000 competitors last year.

Titled "After Boston Bombs, Singapore Bombs Is Next I Promise!", the threat was made by a user going by the monicker "blackflag". AsiaOne is a news and lifestyle portal owned by Singapore Press Holdings.

AsiaOne editor Adrian Tay said his team is assisting with the police probe, and has provided information on the user's Internet Protocol (IP) address.

The forum is moderated by a team of active users, Mr Tay said, and the AsiaOne team was alerted by a user who had spotted the inflammatory post.

Organisers of major local sporting events have pledged to review their security arrangements in the wake of the Boston blasts, The Straits Times reported on Friday.

The Singapore Sports Council, which co-organises the SCMS, said that although planning for this year's run is still in its early stages, the council will work with relevant agencies to establish "adequate security measures".

Meanwhile, organisers of the Sundown Marathon on May 31 and June 1 will beef up security by hiring more security officers.

In January, a 13-year-old boy from New Delhi, studying at an international school here, was arrested for making online threats to bomb the Marina Bay Sands.

A 36-year-old Dutchman was sentenced to 16 months' jail in 2011 for threatening to blow up a Singapore Airlines plane.

The police warned: "Police take a serious view of anyone who capitalises on recent security concerns to attempt to cause public alarm or fear by making bomb hoaxes, and will spare no effort to track down the perpetrators and take them to task."

Those found guilty of making false threats of terrorist acts can be fined up to $100,000, jailed for up to five years, or both.

waltsim@sph.com.sg


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