Amanda Bowden, Conn. teen, made false threats of mass shooting, bombing at community college, report says
(CBS/AP) NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Police searched a Connecticut home Wednesday after a teenage girl made false threats to carry out a mass shooting and bombing at Gateway Community College in New Haven, CBS affiliate WFSB reports.
The U.S. attorney's office said 19-year-old Amanda Bowden was charged with one count of false information and hoaxes. She faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the federal charge, according to the station.
"As alleged, this defendant made a series of threats that described in great detail her intention to carry out a suicidal mass murder at a community college in New Haven," said U.S. Attorney David Fein. "All threats of this nature will be viewed as serious by this office and prosecuted to the full extent of federal law."
Prosecutors said Bowden initially made the threats earlier this month through text messages with a cooperating witness, and subsequently through text and verbal conversations with an undercover law enforcement agent. They said Bowden claimed to possess firearms and to have constructed at least two napalm-based bombs at her residence.
Authorities said no firearms or explosive devices or related materials were found during the search at Bowden's home in East Haven.
In an unrecorded conversation with the undercover FBI agent, Bowden praised the man who carried out the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, a town about 20 miles from New Haven, according to an arrest affidavit.
She expressed her desire to eclipse the shooter, saying that she was "pissed" when the Sandy Hook shooting happened because she "wanted to be the next big one," WFSB reports.
"If I'm going to commit suicide might as well take people down with me who made me miserable," according to the federal complaint. "The whole (expletive) place is going down."
Bowden told investigators that she was not actually planning any shooting or bombing, but was seeking acceptance from the people she was texting with, according to the affidavit. But authorities said she admitted sending texts describing how she made napalm bombs and that she researched how to make such explosives from searching the Internet.
Authorities said Bowden's text accurately described how to construct a homemade napalm bomb.
Gateway Community College officials said the school was contacted by the New Haven Police Department after Bowden made threats against the school on Facebook, WFSB reports. A school spokeswoman said Bowden was never affiliated with Gateway Community College, either as a student or as an employee.
Bowden appeared in Milford court on unrelated warrant charges Wednesday afternoon involving a domestic dispute, according to WFSB. The FBI then took Bowden to Federal Court in Bridgeport where she was charged with a federal felony for the Gateway threat.
Federal prosecutors asked the judge to detain Bowden because they were worried she would try to flee the area. She is being held until her next court appearance in Bridgeport on March 1.
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