UK Teen Admits Mass Email Bomb Hoax

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A Hertfordshire teenager has admitted emailing bomb threats to thousands of schools and disrupting a flight to San Francisco over the past few months.

George Duke-Cohan, 19, pleaded guilty at Luton Magistrates Court to three counts of making hoax bomb threats, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

His campaign began in March when he emailed over 20,000 schools and colleges warning of a bomb threat which forced over 400 to be evacuated. According to Sky News the emails were spoofed to appear as if sent from the VeltPvP Minecraft gaming network.

Although arrested just days later, Duke-Cohan was at it again the following month, sending a mass email to schools in the UK and US claiming pipe bombs were hidden on the premises.

Then last month, he is said to have made phone calls to San Francisco airport and US law enforcers claiming an inbound United Airlines flight to San Francisco had been hijacked by gunmen.

According to the NCA, Duke-Cohan pretended to be a concerned father whose daughter aboard the flight had contacted him about the incident.

NCA and local police arrested him at home in Watford on August 31, recovering multiple electronic devices which were banned under the conditions of his bail.

Duke-Cohan has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Luton Crown Court on September 21.

Duke-Cohan caused “serious worry and inconvenience to thousands of people,” including the 295 UA passengers who were grounded during a security operation following the flight's arrival in San Francisco, said NCA senior investigating officer, Marc Horsfall.

“He carried out these threats hidden behind a computer screen for his own enjoyment, with no consideration for the effect he was having on others. Despite being arrested and having conditions imposed restricting his use of technology, he persistently broke those conditions to continue his wave of violent threats,” he added.

“Law enforcement take such offenses extremely seriously. This investigation proves that operating online does not offer offenders anonymity. We will identify you and you will be brought before the courts.”

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