Social Media

From social media threat to arrest, former FBI agents share their insights

From social media threat to arrest, former FBI agents share their insights

After a Snapchat threat prompted several school districts to cancel summer classes and programs, a suspect was taken into custody within 24 hours. A 19-year-old man has been arrested and charged with one count of threatening terrorism. So how do authorities go from a social media threat to an arrest? KMBC 9 interviewed two former FBI agents about the process of finding a suspect and how the recent mass shootings have bolstered the response to threats. When a threat is made on social media, it offers investigators valuable information. “I think they were probably given the identity of the person who was threatening ahead of time, that would be my guess, so they had a good starting point,” said former FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael. Tabman. That’s why he says he’s not surprised the suspect who used Snapchat to threaten violence in Blue Springs on Tuesday was caught fairly quickly. “It’s traceable. You leave an entire electronic footprint behind,” he said. It says a message can be traced back to an IP address, giving information about the user and their location. Blue Springs police say the FBI helped them preserve the original Snapchat post before it disappeared. Authorities also pinged the suspect’s cellphone. agent. He says once a location is determined, authorities take precautions when closing in to make an arrest. “They would try to minimize any additional exposure or danger to the public when doing so.” Both former officers say every threat of violence is taken seriously. “You’re probably going to be prosecuted and charged under the law,” Stephenson said. “In today’s society, everything we’re going through, you’re going to pay a price for making these kinds of threats,” Tabman said. Tabman said there was an increased response to threats following recent mass shootings, such as the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. “I think we need to look at everything that’s happened and realize that each of these threats can turn into reality,” he said. He applauds the person who reported the threat to Blue Springs and encourages others to do the same. Go ahead and report it to the authorities, let them determine if there is a threat,” he said. “When this happens, report it. That might have avoided another shooting.

After a Snapchat threat prompted several school districts to cancel summer classes and programs, a suspect was taken into custody within 24 hours. A 19-year-old man has been arrested and charged with one count of threatening terrorism.

So how do authorities go from a social media threat to an arrest? KMBC 9 interviewed two former FBI agents about the process of finding a suspect and how the recent mass shootings have bolstered the response to threats.

When a threat is made on social media, it offers investigators valuable information. “I think they were probably given the identity of the person who was threatening ahead of time, that would be my guess, so they had a good starting point,” said former FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael. Tabman.

That’s why he says he’s not surprised the suspect who used Snapchat to threaten violence in Blue Springs on Tuesday was caught fairly quickly.

“It’s traceable. You leave an entire electronic footprint behind,” he said.

It says a message can be traced to an IP address, giving information about the user and their location. Blue Springs police say the FBI helped them save the original Snapchat post before it disappeared.

Authorities also contacted the suspect’s cell phone.

“It will give you a general area of ​​where they are” within a few blocks, said Charles Stephenson, another former FBI agent.

He says once a location is determined, authorities take precautions when closing in to make an arrest.

“You can have a swat team on your side, you can clean residences,” he said. “They would try to minimize any additional exposure or danger to the public when doing so.”

Both former officers say every threat of violence is taken seriously.

“You’re probably going to be prosecuted and charged under the law,” Stephenson said.

“In today’s society, everything that we’re going through, you’re going to pay a price for making these kinds of threats,” Tabman said.

Tabman said there was an increased response to threats following recent mass shootings, such as the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas.

“I think we need to look at everything that’s happened and realize that each of these threats can turn into reality,” he said.

He applauds the person who reported the threat to Blue Springs and encourages others to do the same.

“Don’t write this as a joke, don’t write this as, oh it’s just him speaking out. Go ahead and report it to the authorities, let them figure out if there’s a threat” , did he declare.. “When this happens, report it. That might have avoided another shooting.