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Twitter threats: Ottawa 19-year-old arrested for threat to Parliament Hill

A 19-year-old Ottawa man has been arrested for allegedly posting threats on Twitter targeting Parliament Hill, the Department of National Defence and local embassies.

Police learned of the death and terrorism-related threats from a Twitter user in early November, RCMP said in a news release on Tuesday.

“The threats targeted Parliament Hill, the Department of Defense, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, as well as the Embassy of the United States of America in Ottawa,” the news release said.

Police identified the Twitter user as 19-year-old Daniel Houde, the RCMP said. He is charged with four counts each of perpetrating a terrorist hoax, uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm to a person, and uttering a threat to burn, destroy and damage property.

Court documents show Houde allegedly threatened to use explosives on MPs and to attack the Department of National Defence and the U.S. embassy with a “dirty bomb.” He also allegedly threatened to burn the Chinese embassy using jet fuel. 

He was arrested and released on conditions, inlcuding a weapons ban. He is also prohibited from being within 50 metres of Parliament Hill and the U.S. and Chinese embassies.

He is due to appear in court on Jan. 18.

“All threats to the public are taken seriously, including tweets on social media,” Staff Sgt. Pascal Herbert of the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team said in the release.

“This file demonstrates how communication between departments plays a key role in keeping our communities safe.”

–With files from The Canadian Press.

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