Turns out the kid wasn't arrested using the patriot act. The mom incorrectly stated that. And for those who can't read the link, here's the whole article:
A 16-year-old North Carolina boy arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat against Purdue University had a secret identity as a superstar in an unusual online subculture — one dedicated to making prank phone calls for a live internet audience, his mother admitted Thursday.
“I heard the prank phone calls he made,” says Annette Lundeby of Oxford. “They were really funny prank phone calls…. He made phone calls to, like, Walmart.”
Lundeby confirmed that her son was known online as “Tyrone,” a celebrity in a prank-calling community that grew late last year out of the trouble-making “/b/” board on 4chan. Using the VOIP conferencing software Ventrilo, as many as 300 listeners would gather on a server run by Tyrone to listen to him and other amateur voice actors make often-crude and racist phone calls, some of which are archived on YouTube. The broadcasts were organized through websites like PartyVanPranks.com.
A former fan of Tyrone’s work helped lead the police to Lundeby’s son after the boy allegedly moved beyond pranks this year and began accepting donations from students eager to miss a day of school. In exchange for a little money, Tyrone would phone in a bomb threat that would shutter the donor’s school for a day.
“People would pay about five dollars, and they get to submit a number,” says Jason Bennett, a 19-year-old college student in Syndey, Australia. “It was getting way out of hand.”
Lundeby admits that her son received donations for his prank phone calls, but denies that he made bomb threats. She says her son was with her, coming home from church, at the time of the February 15 phone call that summoned a bomb squad and evacuated the mechanical engineering building at Purdue University in Indiana.
Bennett didn’t hear the Purdue call, but he says he heard Tyrone admit to that bomb threat later, and decided enough was enough. He contacted university police and began helping them get the goods on “Tyrone.”
The case came to a head the night of March 5, when Tyrone made a series of rapid-fire bomb threats against five different schools around the United States. Bennett recorded the calls.
“This is a warning to every staff, student and anybody else who may be in the school tomorrow afternoon at 11:00 a.m.,” the caller is heard saying in a voicemail message for Mill Valley High School in Shawnee, Kansas.
“There are twelve bombs located throughout the entire campus at the school,” the caller continues (.mp3). “They are in random lockers throughout the school — I will not tell you which lockers they are located in. There are also two in the bathroom and there is one in the gym. You have exactly one hour after 11:00 a.m. to find and disarm the bombs. That is all I have to say. All will be cleansed.”
After leaving similar threats with four other schools, Tyrone gives listeners his e-mail address and asks for PayPal donations. Then he promises more calls in the morning. “I’m going to go to bed so I can fucking wake up at 6:00 in the morning and I’m going to cancel about eight or nine schools maybe,” he says. “You guys have fun missing school tomorrow.”
When Tyrone signed off, Bennett immediately put the recording on his own web server and provided a link to a Purdue University police detective working the case, who shared it with the FBI. Police warned the schools that very night that the calls were hoaxes, and the FBI — armed with a search warrant and a criminal complaint — swooped in on Annette Lundeby’s home at 10:00 p.m., seized computers and arrested her son.
Lundeby insists the “Tyrone” on the recording must be a different prank caller using her son’s online handle and e-mail address. “I’ve asked him about this and he doesn’t know anything about it,” she says. “There are other people who sound like him.”
Bennett says Lundeby knew her son had made bomb threats. “His mother knew that he was making calls, because she’d come on the microphone when he was talking and tell him not to do any bomb threats because the house was going to get raided,” he says. “He said he wasn’t going to do any more bomb threats because his mom didn’t approve of them. But then he did them anyway.”
Lundeby denies knowing anything about her son staging bomb hoaxes. But she admits seeing a YouTube video in which “Tyrone” jokes that he’s hidden a bomb in a box of take-out chicken.
In that call — laced with profanity and racist slurs — Tyrone is heard phoning a New York cigar shop while watching on a webcam streamed though the video-feed site New York City Live. When he sees a food delivery arrive at the checkout counter, he tells the clerk, “Your chicken is here. It contains the bomb which will detonate. It’s my bomb. It’s the bomb that will detonate in five minutes. The fried chicken has a bomb in it.”
“I’m not sure if that was him or not,” says Lundeby. “If you’ll notice, the guy is also playing along with him. A lot of these calls are pre-setup. The other person on the other end knew it had been preset.”
“He did not make the bomb threat to Purdue,” she adds. “Even so, it’s about the Constitution.”
The arrest of Lundeby’s son stoked widespread outrage on the internet after Raleigh, North Carolina’s WRAL-5 reported on the case, noting that the boy is a patriotic homeschooled student with an American flag bedspread.
Much of the online fury was triggered by Lundeby’s incorrect claim — uncritically reported by the station — that the boy was being held without any legal rights on the authority of the 2001 USA Patriot Act. In truth, making telephone bomb threats has been a federal crime since 1939.
The teenager is being held without bail in Indiana, but he’s been formally charged, has a court-appointed attorney, and has already made three appearances in front of a judge. The case is sealed because the suspect is a minor.
Responding to the internet outrage on Thursday, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Indiana issued a press release (.pdf) emphasizing the the teenager is not being held on terrorism charges. The case “alleges a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(e), which prohibits sending false information about an attempt to kill, injure or intimidate any individual or to unlawfully to damage any building through an instrument of interstate commerce,” the prosecutors wrote.
“The government has filed a motion with the Court seeking to transfer the juvenile to adult status,” the government added. “That motion is pending before the Court and is scheduled for a hearing during the month of May.”