A Virginia man was arrested on Wednesday after he made online threats to kill students attending Howard University, a historically black college, WJLA reported.
John Edgar Rust, 26, made the racist threats on 4chan and Reddit, two online message boards, on Nov. 11, 2015, the FBI said in an affidavit.
Rust’s screenname on Reddit was “watchouthoward.”
His anonymous 4chan post featured a photo of former University of Missouri president Timothy Wolfe, who resigned after a series of racist incidents on the school’s campus.
“Seriously America why are we still putting up with this s**t?” the post allegedly read. “I mean we might as well just bend over and let the n***ers f**k us right in the ass.”
“So I've decided,” the post continues later. “Any n***ers left at Howard University after 10 tomorrow will be the first to go. And any of those cheapskate n***ers who try to get out using the metro will regret that choice real fast. Sure, the po po will take me down, but I’ll go out a hero knowing I made the world better. I just hope at least someone else can see it too and continue the fight.”
“They were too stupid to know what to do when they got freed,” the post concludes. “They’re too stupid to know what to do now they got rights. Sometimes the best thing to do is to put stupid out of its misery. After all, it's not murder if they're black.”
The man then posted a link to his 4chan post on Reddit, pretending his roommate wrote it, investigators allege.
"Hey Reddit, my roommate just posted this on 4chan,” he said. “Just consider yourselves warned.”
Some members of the Howard University student body chose not to attend class following the threat, and several professors cancelled class. The threat was apparently widely known on campus.
One student at the time tweeted, "Even at the universities that were made for us, we are still not safe,” according to the affidavit. Another person tweeted “About to be 10 I hope everyone inside and safe."
The IP address connected to the 4chan and Reddit posts came from the WiFi of a Virginia Panera Bread, where Rust allegedly signed onto the café’s WiFi using his MacBook and Windows Phone. Police were able to use Rust’s purchases at the store to track him down. Forensic analysis of his devices was able to match the text on his laptop and phone to the threatening message on 4chan.
Rust also had collected information on making explosives, poisons, and homemade guns, The FBI claims claim.
Rust, a previously convicted felon, was breaking the terms of his probation by accessing the internet. WJLA reported that a 26-year-old man named John Edgar Rust was on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry for sexual conduct with a child.
Rust was charged with the transmission in interstate commerce of a communication containing threats to injure the person of another. If convicted, Rust faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
He first appeared in court for a preliminary and detention hearing yesterday, WJLA reported.
[Image: Virginia State Police Sex Offender and Crimes against Minors Registry]