YouTube user arrested after livestreaming bomb threat hoax at University of Washington, police say

A YouTube user who goes by the alias "Arab Andy" was arrested after livestreaming a bomb threat hoax at the University of Washington on Thursday. (YouTube)

A YouTube user was arrested Thursday after livestreaming a bomb threat hoax inside a building at the University of Washington in Seattle, police said.

The suspect, who goes by the online aliases "Arab Andy" and "ISIS Poseidon," streamed the incident about 5:30 p.m. on Twitch and YouTube Live. YouTube removed the livestream for violating its terms of service, but clips of the livestream were later reuploaded on video sites.

Video of the hoax shows Andy recording inside a room where a lecture was taking place. Audio plays over a speaker that police said was attached to the suspect's jacket. A voice is heard saying, "C4 has been successfully activated. Bomb detonation countdown successfully started." People in the room begin to rush out, panicked. The recording then plays loud beeping followed by explosion sound effects.

Watch the video below. [WARNING: Explicit Language]

According to the University of Washington newspaper The Daily, the hall was evacuated and sealed off until the threat was resolved. University of Washington police said the suspect was later arrested on charges of making a bomb threat.

“We were in a reception in our conference room, listening to our chair talk about our year’s worth of stuff," a faculty member who was in the room told The Daily. "Then this man who was about six-foot-one comes in the doorway and says, ‘I’m sorry I’m late,’ and I didn’t recognize him, so I say, 'Are you supposed to be here?'" The faculty member said the suspect then pushed a button that played the recording.

According to the International Business Times, "Arab Andy" runs three YouTube channels, each of which has several thousand subscribers. Viewers can give Andy money donations during his livestreams, and in response, he will play a text-to-speech recording selected by the donor.

In Thursday's livestream, the bomb threat recording was played after a viewer going by the alias "lebaneseandy" appeared to have donated $4.20.


About the Author:

Brian is an Associate Producer for ClickOnDetroit. He graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a degree in Journalism and Screen Studies.