Twitter message leads to police arrest
“It is the world we live in,” was the sentence that Paul Chambers was hearing all over again during his interrogation by UK law enforcement regarding his imprudent Twitter post that read: “Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”
The Independent reports that Chambers, who was planning to take a flight from the Doncaster airport on the 15 of January, was venting frustration about the fact that his travel plans were threatened to be disrupted by the closure of the airport due to heavy snowfall. The comment, meant as a joke, was taken seriously by the police, and on January the 13th they came to his workplace and arrested him.
“My first thought upon hearing it was the police was that perhaps a member of my family had been in an accident,” he said. “Then they said I was being arrested under the Terrorism Act and produced a piece of paper. It was a print-out of my Twitter page. That was when it dawned on me.”
He has been taken into custody and interrogated by the officers for seven hours before being released. Chambers said that not only the police couldn’t understand that the message was meant as a joke, but that they had to be educated about what Twitter was.
He was released under bail, and he has to wait until the 11th of February to be informed whether he will be charged with conspiring to create a bomb hoax. In the meantime, he has been suspended from work and banned from the Doncaster airport for life, and the police took his computers and his iPhone so they could rifle through them.