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Nashville teen arrested on terrorism charge after being accused of making threats to schools


NASHVILLE, Tennessee — A Nashville teen has been arrested after allegedly sending emails filled with graphic threats to blow up schools and massacre teachers and students, authorities said.

An FBI affidavit records threats sent to 12 schools in Nashville; Pittsburgh; Brockton and Whitman, Massachusetts; and Burke, Virginia beginning March 16. Some schools were threatened more than once, and the threats became progressively longer, more specific and more gruesome.

An email sent early Thursday to Nashville's Antioch High School threatened a "columbine or sandy hook like shooting" and made graphically violent threats against a specific teacher.

Police closed the school at 9:45 a.m. Thursday and wouldn't clear it to open until the bomb squad and K-9s swept the campus.

Investigating the threats proved difficult because the teen was able to mask his online identity, authorities said.

Because he is a juvenile, the student's name is redacted from the copy of the affidavit provided to the media.

Metro Nashville Police said only that the student lives in south Nashville and attends the Johnson Alternative Learning Center. According to its website, the center "provides an opportunity for students, who would otherwise be excluded due to expulsion from school, to continue their educational experience."

The teen was expected to appear Friday before a magistrate judge in federal court on a charge of sending threatening communications by interstate commerce. The hearing was closed to the public and the media.

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