Man arrested after threatening on Facebook to use explosives in Washington

The Washington Post reports that a 25-year-old Arlington County man was arrested after threatening on his Facebook page to use explosives in the Washington area, writing that he could put pipe bombs on Metro cars or in Georgetown at rush hour. Court papers do not indicate that Awais Younis, also known as Mohhanme Khan and Sundullah Ghilzai, ever acted on the threats. He has been charged with communicating threats via interstate communications.

In conversations with another Facebook user, Younis described how to build a pipe bomb and indicated what type of shrapnel would cause the most damage. He talked about putting bombs on the third and fifth cars of a Metro train, which he said held the largest number of passengers. In one posting, he said, “Christmas trees were going to go boom.”

Younis’s case is the second in recent days in which Facebook has pointed authorities toward suspects in terrorism investigations. Federal authorities cited the popular social networking site in the case against a Baltimore man accused of plotting to blow up a military recruiting center. Authorities said they learned of Antonio Martinez’s radical leanings on Facebook, joined his plot and supplied him with a fake car bomb that he tried to detonate last week.

Authorities obtained a search warrant for the Facebook account that Ghilzai used and determined that his legal name is Awais Younis, court papers said.


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