UW Student Accused Of Online Death Threats
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SEATTLE (AP) — Federal prosecutors have charged a University of Washington student accused of posting online threats to kill women in solidarity with Elliot Rodger, who went on a murderous rampage last month in California.
Keshav Mukund Bhide (BEE-day), 23, made an initial appearance Thursday in federal court. He’s charged with making interstate threats to cause injury or death “to women at the University of Washington and to two other women online.”
“Ill make sure I kill only women, and many more than what Elliot accomplished,” prosecutors allege Bhide wrote in a June 9 post.
Arrested last weekend at his campus dorm, Bhide is being held pending a Monday detention hearing. It was not known late Thursday whether he had a lawyer.
The online threats using the name “Foss Dark” were made between May 31 and June 9, the U.S. attorney’s office alleged. The author wrote that he lived in Seattle and attended the UW.
In court papers, an FBI agent said UW campus police contacted the agency on June 13 with information regarding “a possible mass shooter threat” on campus.
The FBI tracked “Foss Dark” through Google subscriber information. Court papers say FBI databases matched that subscriber email to a student visa application Bhide submitted to attend the UW.
In an FBI interview, Bhide acknowledged creating a Google Plus profile under the name “Foss Dark” and posting the comments, agent Michael Baldino wrote in charging papers. Baldino is assigned to the Seattle FBI domestic terrorism squad.
Bhide said he sympathized with Santa Barbara shooter Rodger’s personal struggles.
“Bhide stated that he, like Rodger, had a hard time socializing at school and had few friends,” Baldino wrote.
While four men were among the six University of California, Santa Barbara students that Rodger killed before killing himself May 23, accounts of his hostility to women, and his bitterness over sexual rejection, led to an outpouring of commentary and online debate.
Threatening comments were made online to two women who posted YouTube videos condemning Rodger’s actions, Baldino said in court papers.
The June 9 post came just four days after one student was killed and two others were wounded in a shooting at Seattle Pacific University. Another student pepper-sprayed the gunman and ended the violence. King County prosecutors have charged Aaron Ybarra, 26, in the June 5 attack.
Conviction on the interstate threat count is punishable by a maximum five years in prison and $250,000 fine.
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