FBI: 'Bomb' at Northeastern Was a Staffer's Hoax

Jason Duhaime, 45, of Texas has been arrested and charged
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2022 11:47 AM CDT
FBI: 'Bomb' at Northeastern Was a Staffer's Hoax
Police and emergency personnel respond at the scene of a reported explosion in Boston on Sept. 13. That report has turned out to be a hoax, per the FBI.   (WCVB via AP)

Reports that an explosion last month at Northeastern University may have been staged are correct, according to the FBI. NBC News reports the law enforcement agency announced Tuesday that Jason Duhaime of Texas, who claimed he'd been injured in the Sept. 13 incident, has been arrested and charged with falsely conveying a bomb threat and lying to the feds while being interviewed. Court docs seen by NBC indicate there was never any such explosion, and that a student account ran counter to Duhaime's.

Duhaime, 45, was formerly the new technology manager and director of the school's Immersive Media Lab. Police say Duhaime reported that on that September evening, a Pelican-style case had exploded when he opened it, injuring his hand. His report caused evacuations and "fear across the campus and city" of Boston, per WCVB. But investigators became suspicious when they could find no sign of any explosive material inside the campus's Holmes Hall, and when they noticed Duhaime's injuries didn't seem like they'd come from a detonation like the one he described.

Duhaime also told investigators at the time that a note accompanying the case, addressed to the "lab manager," had railed against virtual reality, as well as the lab for working for Facebook and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Investigators now say that they found that note on Duhaime's computer, allegedly written just hours before the incident. Duhaime, who the FBI complaint says slept in his office at the university when he was in Massachusetts, was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, on Tuesday morning. He's set to appear in a Texas court later Tuesday. (More Northeastern stories.)

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