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  1. #1
    loob lor geezer
    Bangyai's Avatar
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    Man arrested under Terrorism Act for Doncaster airport Twitter joke

    A man was arrested under the Terrorism Act and issued with a life ban from Doncaster's airport after joking on Twitter that he would blow it "sky high" if his flight was delayed.


    Published: 7:30AM GMT 18 Jan 2010
    Comments 22 | Comment on this article


    Paul Chambers made the comment on January 6 after snowfall threatened to delay his plans to travel to Ireland on January 15.
    "Robin Hood airport is closed," he wrote. "You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"


    But while most of his friends enjoyed the joke, someone clearly didn't and alerted the police, who arrived on Mr Chambers' doorstep on January 13.
    "My first thought upon hearing it was the police was that perhaps a member of my family had been in an accident," 26-year-old Mr Chambers told The Independent.
    "Then they said I was being arrested under the Terrorism Act and produced a piece of paper. It was a print-out of my Twitter page. That was when it dawned on me."
    He was arrested under the Terrorism Act on suspicion of conspiring to create a bomb hoax and taken into police custody where he was questioned for seven hours.
    "I had to explain Twitter to them in its entirety because they'd never heard of it. Then they asked all about my home life, and how work was going, and other personal things," he said.
    "The lead investigator kept asking, 'Do you understand why this is happening?' and saying, 'It is the world we live in'."
    Mr Chambers was eventually released on bail until February 11 pending further enquiries. His Twitter post was deleted and his laptop, iPhone and home computer seized.
    He is thought to be the first person in this country to have been arrested for comments on Twitter, although cases have been reported in the United States.
    "I would never have thought, in a thousand years, that any of this would have happened because of a Twitter post," he said. "I'm the most mild-mannered guy you could imagine."
    The civil libertarian Tessa Mayes, an expert on privacy law and free speech issues, told The Independent: "Making jokes about terrorism is considered a thought crime, mistakenly seen as a real act of harm or intention to commit harm.
    "The police's actions seem laughable and suggest desperation in their efforts to combat terrorism, yet they have serious repercussions for all of us. In a democracy, our right to say what we please to each other should be non-negotiable, even on Twitter."
    A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: "A male was arrested on 13 January for comments made on a social networking site. He has been bailed pending further investigations."
    A Robin Hood airport spokesman said it fully supported the police action. "Comments made threatening airport safety are taken extremely seriously at all times," a spokesman said.


    Its a pretty sad state of affairs when a nations police force can't distinguish between a joke in bad taste and a serious terrorist threat. What a waste of police resourses at a time when the country should be making every penny of taxpayers money count.

    Suppose people become so nervous about what they say that a new slang language emerges to circumvent the law. You might end up with people getting arrested for saying they were going to take a ' pillow ' onto an aircraft. Farcical.

  2. #2
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    Not sure anyone would even notice if Doony airport was closed/bombed would they?

  3. #3
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    Very stupid thing to do as he was flying to Ireland and with the shit that has started N.Ireland again?

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai
    Its a pretty sad state of affairs when a nations police force can't distinguish between a joke in bad taste and a serious terrorist threat.
    IMHO there are no jokes when it comes to terrorism.

  5. #5
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    Doncaster airport

    It's proper name is 'Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield ' Airport now.

  6. #6
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    How stupid of the British Police, silly reactions like this show what they are worth; things like that are said everyday by all sorts of people. Not to worry pretty soon our every word and move will be monitored day and night - you never know what might be under your bed. Marmite - I'm not sure anybody would care.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai
    "The police's actions seem laughable and suggest desperation in their efforts to combat terrorism, yet they have serious repercussions for all of us.
    indeed.

    Lets hope the judges through out the case against him.... I won't hold my breathe though.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat Jesus Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteKnight View Post
    How stupid of the British Police, silly reactions like this show what they are worth; things like that are said everyday by all sorts of people. Not to worry pretty soon our every word and move will be monitored day and night - you never know what might be under your bed. Marmite - I'm not sure anybody would care.
    This was conspiracy last year!

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