Dutch Police Arrest 14 Year Old Girl For Twitter Threat Against American Airlines

A Dutch teenager is apparently getting a lesson in the perils of not thinking before you communicate online:

AMSTERDAM — Police in the Netherlands have arrested a 14-year-old girl on suspicion of threatening American Airlines in a tweet.

Police spokesman Roland Ekkers said the girl, who has not been identified for privacy reasons, turned herself in to Rotterdam police in the company of a parent Monday and is now being interrogated.

The tweet posted Sunday said it came from an al-Qaida member in Afghanistan named Ibrahim and threatened to “do something really big on June 1.” But the account’s handle came with the nickname “Sarah” and a profile image of a young woman.

Apologetic tweets were posted to the account after the airline replied it was taking the threat seriously and calling in law enforcement.

Here’s a screen shot of the tweet in question:



According to a statement released to Business Insider, authorities took the step of arresting the girl due to the fact that the message was spread so far so quickly:

We’re not in a state that we can communicate any state of charges at this point. We just thought it was necessary to bring this out mostly because of the fact that it caused a great deal of interest on the Internet..

I can’t speak to whether this teenager actually violated Dutch law, but perhaps from now on she’ll be smarter about how she acts online.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CSK says:

    A quickie search didn’t tell me anything about Dutch law as it would apply to this particular case, but doesn’t this fall under the category of “uttering terroristic threats”? That can get you a prison term here. I doubt the Dutch would be any more inclined to take this lightly, even though it was a joke. A really, really stupid joke.