Saturday, September 29, 2007

July 26

A student at Southern Illinois University named Olutosin Oduwole was arrested on a charge of "attempting to make a terrorist threat" because of a note found in his abandoned car that
demanded $50,000 - to his PayPal account! - to avert a "murderous rampage" at a "highly populated university."
I'm wondering how you "attempt" to make a threat. The threat was never made, the note was never sent, never shown to anyone, and the demand really was rather bizarre. Even if I could figure out how one "attempts" to make a threat (as opposed to making one), where here lies the attempt? Does this go back to the student who was arrested in Kentucky for making a terrorist threat because he wrote a fictional story that involved zombies attacking an unnamed high school? (Just to head off one possible reaction, if Oduwole had in some way publicized the note, that is, if he had actually made a threat, I would not object to his being charged with that.)

By the way, on August 3 a federal judge sided with prosecutors and refused to reduce Oduwole's $1 million bond.

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