On Sunday night, American Airlines received a tweet from a Dutch teenager identified as “Sarah.” The tweet, as well as the response from American Airlines, is below.
Following this interaction, Sarah proceeded to make her account private and insist that it was simply a joke penned by a friend under her username.
She then continued to tweet about it.
Thankfully, American Airlines reported her name and IP address to the proper authorities which led to the 14-year-old girl’s arrest on Monday.
Sarah has been charged with “posting a false or alarming announcement” under Dutch law, but the consequences for her actions are still unclear.
“She will be questioned for the next couple of hours and after that she might be sent home during the investigation,” said Wessel Stolle, a Rotterdam police department spokesman. “We do not know yet. That will have to come out of the investigation.”
It is unclear whether any American agency such as the FBI is currently involved in the investigation, but American Airlines did release a statement about the situation.
“At American, the safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority. We take security matters very seriously and work with authorities on a case-by-case basis,” said American spokesman Matt Miller. “American’s response was taken down per our standard procedures. In this type of situation, we flag the conversation with the proper authorities and then take down the message(s).”
One would imagine that this investigation would deter other pranksters, but that does not seem to be the case. In fact, American Airlines and Southwest have become inundated with threatening tweets said to be “jokes” since Sarah’s infamous one appeared online.
@AmericanAir Hello, I’m eduardo. ago a couple of weeks were warned, i´m ignored. you will pay the consequences. Bomb! HAHAHAHA— eduardo (@eduardo37276391)
You should never prank call 911.The harm in these fake calls is that it takes away valuable time from the real callers who are in need of assistance. It has the potential to affect someone else’s life and prolong the wait time of those who actually need help.
It is not fair to waste security’s time with trolling threats such as these. Nonetheless, security continues to pore over them, trying to decipher the attention-seeking teens from the true psychopaths.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter if he/she “didn’t mean it.”
Michael Piggin, the 18-year-old boy who, in his diary, said he wanted to throw a bomb into a children’s play area and shoot “all the motherf****rs” apparently “didn’t mean it” either. Piggin, stifling giggles, stated in court that his threat was simply a joke. He was the only one laughing.