A Texas man is charged with intent to attack Data Centers on April 8 2021. This man has planned to blow up Amazon’s Virginia DC. Come on, let’s further discuss the details.
What was the man up to?
A Wichita Falls man plotted to blow up a data center in Virginia, and as a result, he was charged with a malicious attempt to destroy a building with an explosive. The acting U.S. Attorney announced this for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.
An undercover FBI team member in Fort Worth arrested Seth Aaron Pendley, aged 28 years. It was a good save, saving the entire datacentre.
“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,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah.
“The FBI’s highest priority is ensuring public safety and we thoroughly investigate all credible threats,” said Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “We continually ask the public to report suspicious or threatening behavior to law enforcement, and in this instance, that vigilance may have prevented injuries and the destruction of property.”
How did the investigation happen?
A citizen contacted the FBI on January 8 2021, about alarming statements posted on MyMilitia.com, which is a forum dedicated to organizing militia groups. 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.”
The FBI then got the user’s email address, which was registered to the account of Mr. Pendley. A search on the Facebook account showed that he had boasted about being at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Also, in private messages, he told friends that although he did not actually enter the Capitol building, he did reach the “platform,” where he swiped a piece of glass from a broken window and interacted with police. He said he brought a sawed-off AR rifle to D.C., but left the weapon in his car during his movement to the Capitol.
Later, it was found that Mr. Pendley began using Signal, an encrypted messaging app, to communicate and plan about using C-4 plastic explosives to attack prominent tech company’s data centers in an attempt to “kill about 70% of the internet.”
In recorded conversations, Mr. Pendley told the undercover that he planned to attack web servers that he believed provided services to the FBI, CIA, and other federal agencies. After the agent showed Mr. Pendley how to arm and detonate the devices, the defendant loaded them into his car. Mr. Pendley was then arrested by FBI agents who monitored the delivery of the inert devices.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. Like all defendants, Mr. Pendley is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Boudreau of the Northern District of Texas is prosecuting the case with Trial Attorney Alexandra Hughes of the National Security Division’s assistance.