ST. GEORGE — A Hurricane City man was arrested Tuesday after reportedly making terroristic threats involving the use of weapons of mass destruction.
On April 17, the Hurricane City Police Department received a message via social media from an individual who identified himself as “Assad Muhammad” and said he was “going to go to Washington D.C. and blow up the White House,” according to a probable cause statement filed by the Hurricane City Police Department in support of the arrest.
The individual further said in the message that, during his trip, he would be traveling through Hurricane City and would be detonating “smaller bombs” in the city that “wouldn’t cause death but would cause injuries and property damage,” the arresting officer wrote in a sworn statement.
During the course of the investigation, Hurricane Police detectives contacted the FBI who assisted the department in identifying where the messages originated, the report stated.
The FBI tracked the message to an address in Hurricane City. Authorities further identified the suspect as 25-year-old David Grant Torrey, of Hurricane, according to the statement.
Police were already familiar with Torrey due to his history of making terroristic threats. According to court documents, Torrey had been placed on supervised probation through Iron County 5th District Court for threatening to blow up a Cedar City hospital and jail on three other separate occasions.
He also threatened to “kill the governor, kill the president and then flee the country and join ISIS,” Cedar City Police Sgt. Jimmy Roden told St. George News in a June 2016 interview.
In addition to those threats, police were made aware on Jan. 2 that Torrey posted a threatening message on the White House Instagram page in which he threatened harm towards President Barack Obama, his family and White House staff members.
In that message, according to court documents, Torrey stated he would detonate a bomb strapped to his chest, adding: “It is big enough to kill everyone there right now YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. You have TWO minutes!!!”
As a result of the most recent threats, Torrey was placed on probationary hold at the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility Tuesday for violating his probation.
After Torrey was interviewed by police, the Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing him of two second-degree felony counts for threat of terrorism.
“We always take these types of incidents very serious and consider them real until otherwise determined,” the Hurricane City Police Department said in a statement Wednesday. “There was no real threat that was substantiated in this incident.”
The Police Department noted that it is a violation of the law to make these types of threats.
Several U.S. states have enacted statutes which impose criminal liability for making threats of terror, whether the threat is acted on, or not.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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