Last Thursday, a Wichita Falls resident was arrested for allegedly attempting to bomb an AWS data center in Virginia.
According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), 28-year Seth Aaron Pendley was detained after a concerned citizen alerted authorities to disturbing statements posted on the MyMilitia.com forum.
On March 31, with the help of a confidential source, Pendley got in touch with an FBI agent posing as an explosives dealer.
After taking what he believed to be an explosive device from an undercover law enforcement agent, he was arrested, prosecutors explained. His main goal was to destroy Amazon data centers that, according to him, “run 70% of the internet,” including FBI and CIA services.
“The investigation began after a concerned citizen contacted the FBI on Jan. 8 about alarming statements posted on MyMilitia.com, a forum dedicated to organizing militia groups,” the DOJ said in a press release. “A user who went by the screenname ’Dionysus‘ stated he was planning to ’conduct a little experiment,’ that he said would ’draw a lot of heat‘ and could be ’dangerous.’ When another user asked what outcome Dionysus desired, he responded, ’death.’”
If found guilty, Pendley faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
“We are indebted to the concerned citizen who came forward to report the defendant’s alarming online rhetoric. In flagging his posts to the FBI, this individual may have saved the lives of a number of tech workers,” Acting US Attorney Prerak Shah said.
“We are also incredibly proud of our FBI partners, who ensured that the defendant was apprehended with an inert explosive device before he could inflict real harm. The Justice Department is determined to apprehend domestic extremists who intend to commit violence, no matter what political sentiment drives them to do so.”
Amazon also thanked the FBI in a statement:
“We would like to thank the FBI for their work in this investigation,” the tech giant said. “We take the safety and security of our staff and customer data incredibly seriously and constantly review various vectors for any potential threats. We will continue to retain this vigilance about our employees and customers.”