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Terror Tweeting

Graphic by McKenna '14
Graphic by McKenna ’14

On Apr. 13, 2014, a fourteen-year-old girl in Holland named Sarah sent a supposedly joking tweet to the American Airlines Twitter account that read: “@AmericanAir hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1 I’m gonna do something really big bye.” The airline’s account responded immediately, writing: “Sarah, we take these threats very seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI.” According to The Mirror the young girl quickly rescinded her threatening tweet and apologized on Twitter, pleading that she was just a “stupid, f***ing 14 year old.” American Airlines deleted their response once it was clear the girl was no threat to the airline.

The incident sparked a copycat incident involving Southwest Airlines just one day later. A different Twitter user copied Sarah and tweeted: “hello @SouthwestAir my name is armin from Iraq & I just wanted to let your team know that there will be an explosion taking place soon bye.” Southwest responded similarly to American Airlines and tweeted back: “@twerk**** The safety of our Customers and Employees is our top priority. Your info has been given to the appropriate authorities.” According to Business Insider, it is unclear whether or not Southwest has followed through.