Herndon Man Indicted on Charges of Using Twitter to Threaten Murder of Government Officials

A 36-year-old Herndon man was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of threatening to murder officials, officers and employees of the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. State Department, as well as Virginia law enforcement officers.

William Lewis Weaver II is charged with two counts of threatening to assault and murder federal officials, officers and employees, as well as three counts of transmitting in interstate commerce a communication containing threats to injure the person of another. The indictment alleges that between Aug. 23 and Sept. 16, Weaver used a Twitter account to post tweets that threatened to murder a number of government officials, including specific threats involving bombs and a shotgun.

According to the affidavit (read in full), officers from the Herndon Police Department visited Weaver at his residence at least twice to ask him about his tweets.

Records received from CIA’s police department, which has law enforcement authority with respect to its facilities, indicate that on or before June 17, 2017, @WillWeaver2 posted at least one tweet that was directed at the CIA and the National Security Agency. The communication(s) was/were concerning in nature and resulted in the City of Herndon Police Department conducting a welfare check of WEAVER at his residence in Herndon, Virginia. During this meeting, WEAVER did not deny that he owns or controls @WillWeaver2, indicated that he had been intoxicated when he posted the tweet(s) in question, and did not intend to hurt anyone unless they came to his house.

The U.S. Department of State says Weaver had applied for a passport twice since February 2016, and was denied each time. One of his tweets in question read: “@StateDept You have about 2 weeks 2 get my passport 2 me before the devices set off and the shotgun blasts start. Tick-tock goes the clock.”

Other tweets that sparked investigation were directed toward the CIA, including two on the same day that read “Logic continues to dictate that bombing the cia, and shotgunning them as they line up outside the gate at work in the morn is my conclusion” and “They all line up at those gates like ducks at the county fair shooting gallery, haha. All that evil just a few shotgun blasts away from gone.”

After a federal officer visited Weaver’s home on Sept. 14, he posted a series of expletive-laden tweets over two days that included threats toward the CIA, NSA, police and military. He also allegedly visited a store in Sterling on Sept. 15 and attempted to purchase a shotgun and ammunition, which he tweeted would be for “home defence” because he “can’t trust police anymore.”

Weaver’s Twitter account has since been suspended.

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