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Massacre hoax leads to armed police on campus

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At midday today, 17 February, West Midlands Police (some armed) arrived at Library Road following a security threat passed onto the university via Twitter.

The message was posted on Circleboard.org – a 4chan-esq image-based internet forum, small in users and popularity – and then sent onto the University via Twitter by another poster on the site.

On a post discussing FBI surveillance on image boards due to school shooting user Dominicxhw, posting in Scotland at 9:30pm yesterday 16th February, wrote: “massacre tomorrow by [omitted name] in lecture theatre l3 at warwick university, 12pm (check the news) [sic]”.

The individual went onto post: “they shut part of the uni down because of a bomb threat on my first day so they would unironically take measures, probably lool [sic]”.

On another post at the same time yesterday, the user posted a picture of a recent Boar front page, commenting: “i thought trigger warnings were mostly a meme but there is one on the front of me uni student newspaper lmoa how the fuck is it helping anyone if you plaster “SEXUAL VIOLENCE SUICIDE SELF HARM” etc over the front cover anyway [sic]”.

The police left campus after making contact with the individual who was in fact not on campus but actually in a totally different region of the UK. We are informed that on speaking to the individual concerned that the police were satisfied that the individual had absolutely no knowledge of the matter they were looking into and that their enquiries have now closed.

Peter Dunn, head of press and policy

Lee Page, communications manager for West Midlands Police, stated that the investigation was launched after warning of a security threat was sent to the University through Twitter: “Officers – some of them armed – were deployed to campus today (17 February) as a precaution and for reassurance.

“No arrests were made in relation to the threat and enquiries into the hoax message are currently on-going”.

The victim of the hoax, who does not wished to be named, said they have “no idea” of whom it was using their name in the posts, and clarified that they themselves have posted nothing online.

Peter Dunn, head of press and policy for the University, reiterated the comments made by Mr.Page: “Armed police officers from West Midlands Police attended campus today in order to enquire if an individual was present who they wished to speak to.

“The police left campus after making contact with the individual who was in fact not on campus but actually in a totally different region of the UK. We are informed that on speaking to the individual concerned that the police were satisfied that the individual had absolutely no knowledge of the matter they were looking into and that their enquiries have now closed.”

Anyone with information which may assist the investigation is urged to call West Midlands Police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. The case is not being linked to any of the other recent telephone hoax call crimes at schools in the West Midlands.

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