FEBRUARY 7--Another 4chan devotee has been arrested by the FBI, this time for downloading child porn from the notorious web site and posting threats to go on a shooting spree at his Michigan college that would result in dozens of fatalities, The Smoking Gun has learned.
Saad, pictured in the above mug shot, noted that he planned to set up a laptop and broadcast the shooting live online via Stickam, the popular streaming video web site. “10:45 am, turn laptop to face 500+ students, pull out ak47 I got from gun show and unleash mayhem. Def going to beat cho.”That message ended with a “Thanks for help /b/ros. Be sure to tune in.” The term “/b/ros” refers to regulars in 4chan’s anarchic “/b” forum.In response to 4chan posts, “two different people who read Saad’s threats online reported him to the FBI.” With 4chan’s assistance, investigators quickly connected Saad to the messages, according to Agent Pennisi: “The internet protocol address of the computer that posted the message to the website was captured by the website and made available to the FBI.” And by “made available,” the FBI means it was provided to agents without the use of a subpoena or search warrant.During a November 29 raid at his Dearborn home, Saad reportedly copped to using his laptop “to post a threat to shoot people at Wayne State on the internet 3 separate times.” While Saad “denied intending to actually commit a shooting,” a forensic examination of his computer revealed that “he researched other mass shooting incidents in the United States, including school shooting incidents, prior to posting his threat on the internet.”The Saad probe is the latest federal case to involve 4chan and its enthusiasts. Last April, site founder Christopher “Moot” Poole testified as a government witness at the criminal trial of David Kernell, the 4chan user who hacked Sarah Palin’s e-mail account and then posted stolen material on 4chan. Last month, a 4chan user was sentenced for his role in a vicious cyberbullying campaignlaunched on the site’s “/b/” forum. And at least two ongoing cases involve Poole’s creation--one examining the downloading of child porn by a Navy sailor, and the other probing computer attacks launched against PayPal and other perceived corporate enemies of WikiLeaks. ((7 pages)While being interviewed by agents, Saad admitted to downloading about 25 child pornography images from 4chan, Pennisi reported. A review of his laptop’s hard drive “revealed more than 20 stored files containing child pornographic images” that were downloaded between November 20-21.In a brief interview, Saad said that he first visited 4chan “a week before everything happened,” claiming that he went to the site out of “curiosity” since he had seen it described as the “dregs of society.” Saad, now attending Henry Ford Community College, added, “And I got fucked for it.”Saad, arraigned Friday at U.S. District Court in Detroit on a pair of felony charges, is free on $10,000 bond. He is next due in court on February 25.
According to an FBI affidavit, Ali Saad, 19, posted death threats “on a popular internet website” in late-November. In those posts, Saad included photos of Columbine High School killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris and wrote that he was confident that he could top the “high score” amassed by Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech student who killed 32 people in April 2007.While the “popular internet website” is not named in the affidavit, Saad told TSG that it was 4chan.In a November 27 message, Saad wrote of opening fire with an AK-47 at a Biology lecture class attended by hundreds of students. “500+ students. Lol,” he wrote, according to FBI Agent Christopher Pennisi.