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Telling someone you’re planning to blow up an airport is never a good idea, especially if the cops are listening in. So when a UK man tweeted to his friends that Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster was about to bite the big one, it should have come as no surprise that last week he was busted and interrogated for seven hours by anti-terror police.
Paul Chambers wanted to fly to Ireland, but heavy snow meant his local airport was closed. In his frustration, he tweeted: “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.”
While his chums were no doubt wildly amused by his hilarious remark, the authorities were a tad more unsympathetic and lifted him under the Terrorism Act.
And to add insult to injury, when the hapless Twitterer was released on bail, he was suspended from work pending an internal investigation, has been banned from Doncaster airport for life and the cops confiscated his iPhone, laptop and home computer.
“I would never have thought, in a thousand years, that any of this would have happened because of a Twitter post,” blubbed Chambers. “I’m the most mild-mannered guy you could imagine.”
According to the Independent, Chambers is the first person in the United Kingdom to be arrested for tweeting after the cops received an anonymous tip-off from a member of the public and turned up at his office.
“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.
“I had to explain Twitter to them in its entirety because they’d never heard of it,” he said. “Then they asked all about my home life, and how work was going, and other personal things. The lead investigator kept asking, ‘Do you understand why this is happening?’ and saying, ‘It is the world we live in’.”
Chambers has been bailed until next month, when he will discover if he is to be charged with conspiring to create a bomb hoax.