The FBI has arrested 28-year-old Seth Aaron Pendley, from Texas, who allegedly planned a bomb attack in date Amazon Web Services (AWS) headquarters on Smith Switch Road in Ashburn, Virginia. The man tried to buy plastic explosives C-4 by an FBI undercover detective, which he intended to use to destroy the data center and "kill" about 70% of the Internet.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a press release stating the following: "Seth Aaron Pendley, 28, was arrested on Thursday, April 8, after an alleged attempt to obtain an explosive device by an FBI undercover detective in Fort Worth. He was indicted and made his initial appearance in federal court before U.S. Judge Jeffrey Cureton on Friday morning, April 9.
The man's conspiracy was uncovered by police in January when he revealed his plan on the forum MyMilitia, using the nickname Dionysus. "Dionysus" reported that it planned to "Conducts a small experiment", that will "It was very hot" and could be "Dangerous", aiming to cause "Death" and disorder.
In late January, Pendley began communicating through him Signal with another confidential source, who told the FBI that Pendley planned to use plastic C-4 explosives to attack the data centers of a prominent technology company. In March, a confidential source introduced Pendley to an FBI undercover agent who posed as an explosives supplier.
Specifically, the DoJ noted the following: "In late January, Pendley began using Signal, an encrypted messaging application, to communicate with another confidential source. The source told the FBI that Pendley claimed that he planned to use plastic C-4 explosives to attack the data centers of prominent technology companies, in an attempt to "kill" about 70% of the Internet.
In February, Pendley shared with a confidential source a handmade map of Amazon's AWS data center in Virginia, revealing the bombing. On March 31, a confidential source met Pendley with a man who claimed to be an explosives supplier. In reality, however, the man was an FBI undercover detective.
Pendley chose this data center because he believed that the web servers he hosted provided services to the FBI, the CIA, and other federal agencies. His goal was to "kill the oligarchy that is now in power in the United States."
On April 8, Pendley met with an FBI undercover detective to obtain the explosive devices, which were inactive. The agent showed Pendley how to arm and fire the devices, but when the accused put them in his car, he was arrested by FBI agents who were monitoring the delivery of the inert devices.
If the man is found guilty, he faces imprisonment for up to 20 years in federal prison.
Prerak Shah, a U.S. attorney general, said: "We are grateful to the concerned citizen who appeared to report the defendant's disturbing online rhetoric. Revealing his reports to the FBI, this person may have saved the lives of many tech workers. We are also extremely proud of our FBI associates, who ensured that the accused was arrested with an inert explosive device before he could cause real harm. "The Ministry of Justice is determined to arrest domestic extremists who intend to commit violence, regardless of what political sentiment drives them to do so."
Amazon for its part stated the following: "We want to thank the FBI for its work in this investigation. We take the security of our staff and customer data incredibly seriously and are constantly examining various bodies for potential threats. "We will continue to be vigilant about our employees and customers."
Source of information: securityaffairs.co