Washington, D.C police arrested a 26-year-old white man for racial threats towards Howard University students posted two years ago on the social media sites Reddit and 4Chain. John Edgar Rust was arrested and charged in a federal court Wednesday (Oct. 4) for the threats he made in November 2015.
Rust, a convicted sex offender, was barred from using the Internet as part of his parole. Yet FBI agents were able to trace his comments back to the wireless Internet from a Panera Bread restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia. According to the Washington Post, Rust’s message was in reference to post by HBCU students who supported the protest at the University of Missouri, which led to the principal stepping down.
Rust later admitted to law enforcement to being online that day. When police searched his laptop they found he visited both social media sites at about the time the threat was posted, along with research on poison, firearms and explosives. His phone, a Nokia, was used to search reactions to his threats.
“Anarchy on the Internet works,” was a text he allegedly sent to someone. “I’m angry at everyone and that’s just fueling the existing unresolved anger I have towards people which will burst,” he told the same person, according to the affidavit. “I planned how to take out that anger years ago and I’ve been sitting on that plan ever since.”
If convicted, Rust faces a maximum of five years in prison.