Many tips about supposed terrorism plans, including one about an attack on Boston, set off intensive and costly investigations as well as public alarm. The Boston case and others turned out to be nothing more than a tipster’s inventing a terrorist threat to get revenge on an adversary, the Boston Globe reports. “It’s new in the terrorism context that people are using more extreme types of hoaxes to get revenge,” said Bryan Sierra of the U.S. Justice Department “They’re exploiting the concerns of a terrorist attack.”
Federal prosecutors in Boston are investigating two cases in which people told the FBI about what one official said were “serious acts of terrorism that turned out not to be true.” FBI agent Joe Parris in Washington said that every time someone intentionally provides false information it pulls investigators away from real threats. “It is tying up resources and alarming the public,” he said. In the recent Massachusetts case, an emergency bunker, staffed around-the-clock by nine public safety and law enforcement agencies, ran from Jan. 19 until Jan. 21.