While social media was ablaze with theories, it was soon found out that a threat had been made against a ferry closeby the Sydney landmark, which was obviously found to be a hoax.
However, the ABC has released more information – the threat was made via Twitter, by a 17-year-old male who attends Arthur Philip High School. This happens to be the school that was also attended by Farhad Jabar, the radicalised 15-year-old who attacked Parramatta Police Station and shot police accountant Curtis Cheng in October last year.
He had the following interaction on Twitter:
Shortly before 11:00am that day, the boy tweeted a picture of the Sydney Opera House with the caption “I’m outside right now fam!”.
The boy tagged two other Twitter users on the post and began a short conversation in which he mentioned he was heading to the beach on a ferry.
One of the other users replied: “I drive to the beach … are you trying to BLOW UP SYDNEY @sydneysider @cityofsydney I would watch this kid.”
The teenage boy replied: “I have enough plastic explosive to blow up any area in a 10 kilometre radius, have fun”, and tagged @cityofsydney.
The tweets obviously began a major police operation after a council employee saw the tweets and alerted the authorities. One of the users the teenager @’d had previously tweeted photos of a TEC-9 semi-automatic pistol with the caption “getting ready for tomorrow”, followed by devil emojis.
The teenager handed himself into Sydney City Police three days after the incident, and documents show that he admitted to posting the tweets, but he also stated that he did not know the tweets were public. He apparently believed that he was “just joking around with mates” and that the threat was “never real”.
The 17-year-old cannot be named for legal reasons. He is now only allowed the internet for school, and does not access social media.
The incident now be dealt with by a youth justice conference.
Photo: ABC / Twitter.