Home » Northeastern Staged Bomber Faces Charges

Northeastern Staged Bomber Faces Charges

Courtesy of ksparrow11(Flickr CC0)

A worker has been detained and charged in relation to an alleged explosion that occurred at Northeastern University last month. The former New Technology Manager and Director of the Immersive Media Lab at Northeastern University, Jason Duhaime, 45, of San Antonio, Texas, was charged with the alleged explosion on September 13 in a statement released by the FBI on Tuesday.

Boston police were called to Holmes Hall at 39 Leon St. just before 7:20 p.m. on September 13. According to a Northeastern University employee later identified as Duhaime, a Bird case reportedly detonated when it was opened. The incident resulted in campus and city evacuations due to fear.

Investigation into the Northeastern University Incident

Investigators started to doubt Duhaime’s allegations shortly after the occurrence since no explosive material was discovered inside Holmes Hall and the man’s wounds did not match those that would generally be sustained during an explosion.

“I have probable cause to believe that certain information provided by Duhaime to the 911 operator and to the federal agent — namely, that he was injured by’sharp’ objects expelled from the Subject Case and that the case contained a threatening letter — was fabricated by Duhaime,” an FBI Special Agent wrote in an affidavit submitted on Monday. There is proof that Duhaime sent the threatening letter himself, according to the FBI’s continuing investigation. I am sure, based on the current investigation, that the Subject Case did not contain any “sharp” items, that nothing was ejected when Duhaime opened it, and that Duhaime did not suffer any injuries as a result of doing so.

Courtesy of Dushan Hanuska (Flickr CC0)

The Allegation

Duhaime allegedly said to investigators during an interview that was included in the affidavit, “As soon as I opened it up, all this energy and, like, these things came shooting out. Additionally, I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, so they flew up underneath and struck my arm. The case was raised and then lowered.”

The facts disproved Duhaime’s assertions. Investigators discovered the case to be empty and without any indications that it had been subjected to an “explosive discharge of any period or magnitude,” according to the affidavit.

“The Subject Case has no contents. The case’s inside and exterior was free of any stains, dents, cracks, holes, or other indications indicating it had been subjected to an explosive or powerful discharge of any kind or size. Likewise, the Letter was perfect but for a few fold marks. It had no tears, holes, burn marks or other signs that it had been in the vicinity of any form of explosive or powerful discharge “In the affidavit, written by an agent.

Getting the Facts

The document went on to say, “For the Northeastern officer, Duhaime rolled up his sleeves, exposing several minor, obvious bruises or scratches on his lower forearms. However, Duhaime’s shirt didn’t seem to be harmed.”

A copy of the bomb threat letter that was drafted hours before the event was found on a school-owned laptop in Duhaime’s Northeastern office, according to investigators.

“The exact same electronic copy of the letter was found stored in a backup folder on one of the computers that were confiscated during a search of the Northeastern University office. Four hours before he contacted 911 to report the explosion, on September 13 at 2:57, the file’s metadata showed that it was produced “Rachael Rollins, the U.S. Attorney stated.

Duhaime is accused of giving fraudulent and substantially misleading statements to a federal law enforcement official as well as spreading hoaxes and false information about explosive devices. Each crime is punishable by a maximum five-year jail term, a maximum three-year period of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Detaining the Suspect

Duhaime was detained in San Antonio on Tuesday morning and is scheduled to appear in court in Texas on Tuesday afternoon before being sent back to Massachusetts.

It is anticipated that no other people will face charges in relation to the incident. According to the FBI affidavit, Duhaime actually lives in Texas, but while in Massachusetts, he slept in his office or the Northeastern Lab. Northeastern stated in a statement that Duhaime was no longer employed by the institution.

Written By Dylan Santoyo


WCVB: Northeastern University employee staged bomb incident, faces federal charges, FBI says

NPR: Former Northeastern University employee charged with staging on-campus bomb hoax

The New York Times: Ex-Northeastern Employee Charged Over Hoax Report of Explosive Device

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of ksparrow11’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Dushan Hanuska’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

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