University of Alberta social media bomb threat results in charges

University of Alberta student facing charges over bomb threat
WATCH ABOVE: A University of Alberta student is facing charges after a bomb threat was made on social media. Vinesh Pratap reports.

Editor’s Note: Edmonton police initially said the arrest was made on April 21, but later corrected the date to April 20. 

A University of Alberta student has been charged with making bomb threats over social media.

Edmonton police said they were contacted by the university’s Protective Services about a message posted on the Chillabit app on April 17, threatening to blow up two university buildings.

A screengrab of a message posted on the Chillabit app on April 17.
A screengrab of a message posted on the Chillabit app on April 17. Courtesy, The Gateway


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Police said they investigated and monitored campus buildings with the help of Protective Services but found no evidence of explosives on campus, so an evacuation wasn’t deemed necessary.

The Edmonton police cyber crime investigations unit identified the suspect, who was arrested on April 20, police said.

Ryan Fang, 20, was charged with uttering threats and conveying a false message with intent to injure or alarm.

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“Social media can give us the feeling of being anonymous and without consequence, but police take threats to public security very seriously,” Det. Philip Hawkins said.

Hawkins said there was a large-scale investigation of Fang’s home that involved the tactical and bomb disposal units.

Fang is scheduled to appear in court on May 28.