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Man denies making Internet video threatening Pitt info leak

Federal authorities have arrested a man on suspicion that he posted a threat on the Internet to expose private information from the University of Pittsburgh. But the man says he did not create the video and has no connection with the university.

"I haven't the slightest clue" why the FBI believes he is behind the Internet crime, the man, who lives in Ohio, said. "I never went to Pitt. I don't know anybody who goes to Pitt. I don't know anybody who lives at Pitt."

The FBI says the man posted a message on YouTube on April 26 claiming to have access to confidential information hacked from Pitt's computer system. The message said the poster would release the data if the chancellor of Pitt did not publicly apologize for failing to keep students safe on campus. It is not clear what makes prosecutors believe ties the arrested man to the message.

The threat was a reference to a series of bomb threats that were found in restrooms and emails starting in February and ending shortly before the YouTube posting. The threats, which have not yet resulted in a bomb, came from a group called The Threateners. Authorities do not seem to believe the arrested man has any connection with the bomb threats, which emails from the group suggested were merely pranks.. However, he has been charged with interstate threats, extortion and Internet extortion involving a protected computer network.

The bomb threats led to a series of campus disruptions, including late-night dorm evacuations and cancelled classes.

Source: The Tribune-Democrat, "Threat suspect denies charges," Joe Mandak, June 21, 2012

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