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January 16, 2013

Jailing American Trolls

Just read this news article about a troll doing FEDERAL time.

America: biggest prison population and fiscally going down like the Titanic. Persuing charges like this, no wonder.

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The man accused of posting violent threats against Casper told authorities his statements were simply a work of art.

Glenn Allen Kirkham, 34, was arrested in Oklahoma City by local FBI agents about 5:20 p.m. Monday after allegedly penning a blog post that promised to end the “war on guns.”

The post threatened to employ kitchen knives, an aluminum baseball bat, and a hammer and wooden stake — in addition to handguns — to prove that a “high score” could be achieved without assault rifles.
The four-paragraph post implied a politically charged crusade against gun control in which the author was willing to be a martyr.

“I will be victorious, I will make it clear that intricate planning and poor weapons will trump amateurs with AK’s any day of the week,” Kirkham reportedly wrote. “… I give my life for your freedom today.”
The letter, which was signed as “Anonymous,” was posted on a website called 4chan. The site describes itself as a “simple image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images.”

Authorities traced the Internet Protocol address user back to an address in Oklahoma City. According to his arrest affidavit, authorities determined Kirkham possesses an Oklahoma license to carry a concealed firearm.
FBI agents made contact with Kirkham at his apartment about 2:50 p.m. Central Standard Time. When asked if he knew why the FBI was at his residence, he reportedly said it was due to a posting he had made earlier in the day.

Agents said Kirkham called the post a “work of artistic falsehood,” and quoted a disclaimer on the site that states anyone would be a “fool” to believe any posting.

In what authorities believe to be a follow-up post, Kirkham reportedly explained he had no intention of harming Casper residents.

“I never said anything about a school or killing people…I live about 18 hours away from Wyoming, so even if I did get backtraced and V&, they would know that I had no way to carry out any threats that far away in 1-2 hours,” the later post reads.

“V&” is computer-hacker slang meaning “abused by the FBI.”

The United States District Court in the Western District of Oklahoma charged Kirkham with transmitting an interstate threat, a felony crime. He made his initial appearance on Tuesday afternoon.

According to Executive Assistant United States Attorney Robert Troester, a judge ordered Kirkham detained in the Grady County Jail until his combined preliminary and detention hearing.

Officials said Monday that the original post generated calls from all over the country warning Casper officials. The second one was issued shortly thereafter.

Local schools were placed on a “Level 2” lockdown for a portion of Monday as a result of the threat, and highly trafficked areas such as the mall, hospitals and nursing homes were provided with enhanced security measures.

At a Tuesday morning press briefing, Casper Police Chief Chris Walsh said his department partnered with the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI to locate the blog’s author. Although the IP address was quickly tracked back to Oklahoma, Walsh said there are ways to mask its specific location.

“Until we could confirm with a high level of confidence that this was the person who was making this threat, we didn’t want to lift anything,” Walsh said.

Walsh said the post had a significant impact on the community. On Monday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., 1,078 calls came into the dispatch center and 9-11 operators received 60 calls, most of which were due to the situation. Last Monday, Jan. 7, dispatch received 337 calls and 9-11 operators received 38.

Walsh said although the high call volume may have made it difficult for citizens to get through to police, the department tried to maintain communication through social media sites and different sources throughout the day.

At this point, there is “no credible threat to the city or community at all,” he said. “While it may seem like we’re running ‘cause the sky is falling, in this day and age you can’t take these kinds of things lightly.”