The tweets of a teenage boy who threatened to detonate a bomb near the Sydney Opera House last month have been revealed, and show he tagged the City Of Sydney Twitter account in a post which read, “I have enough plastic explosive to blow up any area in a 10 kilometre radius.”
As the ABC reports, the 17-year-old, who has told police he was “just joking around with mates” in the tweets, has admitted to posting a series of tweets on 14th January.
Around 11:00am that day, the boy tweeted a picture of the Sydney Opera House with the caption, “I’m outside right now fam!” He tagged two other Twitter users in the post, and began a conversation in which he said he was going to catch a ferry to the beach.
One of the tagged users then replied, “I drive to the beach … are you trying to BLOW UP SYDNEY @sydneysider @cityofsydney I would watch this kid,” to which the boy replied, “I have enough plastic explosive to blow up any area in a 10 kilometre radius, have fun,” while tagging the City Of Sydney account. A council employee who saw the tweets immediately notified police.
The tweets kicked off a police operation which forced the evacuation of parts of the Sydney Opera House and the Manly ferry wharf for over an hour while police searched for explosives. No threat was discovered.
The boy has plead guilty to false representation resulting in a police investigation.
The teenager, joined by his mother, handed himself in to Sydney City Police station three days after the Opera House security lockdown, and has since said the threat was “never real”.
He is currently on bail on the condition that he only uses the internet for school and doesn’t use social media. His matter will now be dealt with by a youth justice conference.
The City Of Sydney employee who noticed the threatening tweets also told police about a tweet posted by one of the users the boy had been speaking to, which featured a picture of a TEC-9 semi-automatic pistol with the caption “getting ready for tomorrow”, as well as a series of devil emoji.