Briton Paul Chambers says he was only venting when he wrote on Twitter that he might blow an airport "sky-high." He's the first person arrested in Britain for a tweet, and he's banned for life from his local airport.
Since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's alleged attempted bombing of a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, full-body scanners have been introduced at many airports worldwide, but the increasingly paranoid world of terror prevention appears to be spreading its tentacles right into homes and workplaces, via the Internet.
Paul Chambers of Doncaster, England, now knows this all too well. He was arrested for making an off-color joke on the popular social networking website Twitter amid frustration with flight cancellations at his local airport caused by icy conditions.
Mr. Chambers says he posted the message, which reads in part: "Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to [fix the problem], otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky-high!!" He had planned to fly to Ireland to visit a friend.
Now, he's facing terrorism charges and the possible loss of his job. Chambers has also been banned for life from Robin Hood airport. A spokesperson said the airport supported the police's actions.
In this first instance of an arrest in Britain for making comments on Twitter, Chambers's remarks appear to have been brought to police attention by a third party: he was arrested on Jan. 13, a full seven days after posting the comment.