David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the FBI, today announced that Amanda C. Bowden, 19, of East Haven, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with falsely threatening to carry out a violent attack at Gateway Community College in New Haven (see details of the complaint at right).
“As alleged, this defendant made a series of threats that described in great detail her intention to carry out a suicidal mass murder at a community college in New Haven,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “All threats of this nature will be viewed as serious by this office and prosecuted to the full extent of federal law. I commend the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the New Haven and East Haven Police Departments for their swift investigation of this matter.”
“The FBI’s investigations into threats of violence will be swift and thorough,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz. “In this day and age, the making of any threat will not and cannot be tolerated. There will be consequences. The Agents and Task Force Officers assigned to the New Haven Division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the U.S. Attorney’s Office did an outstanding job in addressing this threat from the time it was first reported to the FBI until the successful arrest of the subject.”
As alleged in the criminal complaint, between approximately February 4 and February 16, 2013, Bowden made numerous telephonic threats, initially through text messaging with a cooperating witness and subsequently through text messaging and verbal conversations with an undercover law enforcement agent, discussing her plans to commit a suicidal mass shooting and bombing at Gateway Community College in New Haven. In these communications, Bowden claimed to possess firearms and to have constructed at least two napalm-based bombs at her residence.
Bowden was arrested yesterday on (state charges). At that time, investigating agents conducted a court-authorized search of Bowden’s East Haven residence. No firearms or explosive devices or related materials were found during the search.
Bowden appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport and is detained pending a hearing that is scheduled for March 1
Bowden is charged with one count of false information and hoaxes. The charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s JTTF, the New Haven Police Department and the East Haven Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Henry K. Kopel.