There is no proof to the charges that Travis Biehn
had either written the threat or was intending to build a bomb.
The teen's defence lawyer accuses the District Attorney
of publicly trying the youth before his trial and stirring nationalistic sentiment,
telling reporters he was anti-American and pointing to the
"I am Canadian" T-shirt he wore to his first court appearance.
CANADIAN TEEN DINGO BAIT
"Someone can point a finger and before you know it you're being stormtrooped
and your child is being taken away...to the detriment of our civil liberties....
They're talking about Canadians being thrown over Niagara Falls,
being tarred and feathered and caned. It's crazy down here."
The way the American proles are being lashed into a media feeding frenzy of hate for the latest innocent teenager accused of "terrorism" against his school reminds me of the "Dingo Ate the Baby" story in Australia during the 80s. There a dingo snuck into the tent where a ten week-old baby was sleeping in a basket, clamped its jaws around its head and was seen shaking the body back and forth as it ducked under the flap just as the mother was coming in answer to the baby's piercing cry.
For the next several years the police, government, legal system, scientists and media twisted every rule in the book to remove all blame from the dingo (an Australian wolf) and place it instead on the mother of the dingo's dinner.
Actually just yesterday I ordered the book written by the mother, THROUGH MY EYES, having gotten newly interested in the case upon finishing EVIL ANGELS which was the book on which the 1988 movie A CRY IN THE DARK was based.
What amazed me most about the Dingo story was how gullible and stupid the Australian people were that they could be lashed into such a frenzy of hate for the obviously innocent mother and yet see nothing but admirable traits in the dingo. It was a classic example of wolves in wolves' clothing.
The Propensity of Dingoes to Attack Humans, Report of Les Harris, Expert on Dingo Behavior
And now comes the story of the Canadian 17-year old boy who has been accused, based on no evidence, of writing a bomb-threat found in a school bathroom and whose mother is accused of being "uncooperative" and "verbally interfering with police" for sticking up for her son who has been taken into custody and whose name is being dragged through the mud from every talking-head in the country. As she said in a news story today, "They're talking about Canadians being thrown over Niagara Falls, being tarred and feathered and caned. It's crazy down here."
I suspect it's another case that qualifies for the SCHOOLS LIKE PRISONS section of my website. ~ Jackie Jura
UPDATE: Teen's family fears prison (prosecutors admit no one saw him write bomb threat). Province, Jul 20, 2005
Canadian teen's family considering appeal of bomb threat convictions
by Beth Gorham, CBC News, Jun 15
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CP) - The mother of a Canadian teenager convicted of bomb threat charges in the United States says she's furious, considering an appeal and worried about threats to her family. Annette Biehn said Tuesday she wants her 15-year-old daughter Tristan to leave the U.S. and stay with relatives in Toronto while son Travis faces pre-sentencing evaluations and the family considers how best to "clear his name" in juvenile court. "I'm trying to get Tristan out of the country but she's a very stubborn girl. We're very headstrong, it's a Newfoundland trait. That's why Travis is not buckling."
The family has received threatening e-mails and Biehn said she's concerned about Internet blogs about the case, which ignited emotional debate in Canada and the U.S. after authorities painted the 17-year-old as an angry youth who hates Americans. "They're horrific," she said of the web comments. "One person even commented on the fact that he passes our street every day. That's really scary. "They're talking about Canadians being thrown over Niagara Falls, being tarred and feathered and caned. I don't want (Tristan) going through this. It's crazy down here."
An appeal on the charges, uttering a terrorist threat and possessing incendiary devices, must be filed within 10 days, said Biehn. Judge Kenneth Biehn (no relation to the family) ruled Monday after a one-day trial that the teen wrote a message on a bathroom stall threatening to blow up his high school and gathered explosive materials with the intention of building a bomb.
The boy's father, Brant, who moved the family to the Philadelphia area in 1997, testified the materials were used to make harmless smoke bombs for fireworks displays and burn a tree stump in the backyard to make way for a fish pond. "The stump has been burned and the pond is half-constructed but no one looked at that," Biehn said Tuesday. "We have a load of people around here all the time, as Newfoundlanders do, and we do fireworks by the pool."
Prosecutors, while admitting no one saw the youth scrawl the bathroom message, presented boxes of materials found on a search of the Biehn house in suburban Buckingham and said no other conclusion was plausible than the boy's intent to make a bomb. Police witnesses and bomb experts said the teenager had most of the elements for a bomb except a large quantity of something to ignite it, like the magnesium thermite he had bought months before. That's the material, said the defence, that was used on the tree stump.
The judge was arranging for psychological evaluations and background checks to find out "what makes Travis Biehn tick" and help determine his sentence. He could remain in custody until his reaches the age of 21. Defence lawyer Bill Goldman said Tuesday his client could have been examined before the verdict if the judge felt he didn't know enough about him. "We would have co-operated in any way possible with a screening and with the probation officer assigned to him." Goldman accuses District Attorney Diane Gibbons of publicly trying the youth before his trial and stirring nationalistic sentiment, telling reporters he was anti-American and pointing to the "I am Canadian" T-shirt he wore to his first court appearance. "That's unfair," he said. "There were two trials. The first one was in the media."
Family friend Cathy Block, a composer who knows the youth from a local theatre group, said "there was no presumption of innocence" before Monday's hearing. "We are shocked, devastated and frightened," said Block, who sat through the trial. "I can't imagine how anyone sitting in that courtroom could come out thinking he's guilty." Some supporters blamed "hysteria" generated by the Columbine school killings and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, for such strong public reaction in the case, with some residents saying the family should leave. "If it wasn't for Brant's job," said Biehn, "I would move back."
Her son, she said, is "very connected to his Newfoundland heritage" and there's nothing wrong with that. "You love your own country. There's a lot of Americans who would prefer to live in Canada."
The Biehns, originally from Corner Brook, moved to Halifax and Montreal before leaving Canada for the U.S. eight years ago. Brant works as a marketing director for the giant pharmaceutical company Merck.
Canadian teen charged in bomb scare
by Lorraine Sciuto-Ballasy, Doylestown Patriot, Jun 9, 2005
To his fellow classmates at Central Bucks East High School, Travis W. Biehn, the 17-year-old junior arrested last Thursday for threatening to bomb his high school and collecting bomb-making materials, is a prankster, an attention-getter. School officials join students in describing him as intelligent and computer savvy, perhaps even funny.
Last Thursday, [June 2] though, what might have before been perceived as his "humorous" nature took on a grave appearance when it was discovered not only did Biehn allegedly threaten to blow up his high school, he actually possessed the wherewithal to do it. Two messages left in a boys' bathroom at the high school indicated the school would be "blown up" on Friday, June 3. Biehn is charged with possessing incendiary materials (or explosives), a third-degree felony, and with making terroristic threats. After a hearing last Friday morning, Biehn was transferred to a juvenile detention center in Doylestown Township.
It's been the talk around town since the story hit the news. Many CB East students who know Biehn, had a class with him, or encountered him in another manner at school have shared stories. They say Biehn, a Canadian, wasn't bullied or a bully; he wasn't a loner, he did have some friends.
Though there might be a few contradictions in what students recall about Biehn, one characteristic rising to the surface is the anti-American sentiment he vocalized. While many students classified him as nothing more than a class clown, others claim they thought he acted rather strangely. This assertion does seem to go along with Bucks County District Attorney Diane Gibbons' statement made during a press conference held at the Bucks County Courthouse last Friday. "He does not like Americans," she said. "He'd prefer to be in Canada."
Although officials still do not know why Biehn allegedly made the bomb threat or gathered the eight to 10 pounds of potassium nitrate found in his bedroom last Wednesday, along with the canisters (or cylinders) and fuses needed to form a bomb, Gibbons confirmed Biehn did express anti-American sentiment when police questioned him.
Police said Biehn possessed enough potassium nitrate within his home to level a building. Once word of the bomb threat spread, students tipped off police about a personal web site Biehn maintained, which depicted bomb-making materials. Gibbons said, using the web site photo as a point of reference, it appeared some of the materials may be missing and the investigation is ongoing. Potassium nitrate is an ingredient in explosives, and is obtained and used legally as a propellant, food preservative and fertilizer component.
Gibbons said the Biehn family has been in the United States since 1999 on a permanent visa because the father works for a local pharmaceutical company. She described both the teen and his parents, Brant and Annette Biehn, who reside in Buckingham Township, as "uncooperative." Gibbons said the mother was "verbally interfering with police" during their search of the home last Thursday. His parents also instructed him not to cooperate with police and someone videotaped the search. Biehn could be deported if he is convicted of threatening to bomb his school and accumulating bomb-making materials, she said.
At the Biehns' home, a man, who referred to himself as a family friend, directed all questions to William Goldman Jr., a Doylestown attorney out of town at the time. Neighbors said the Biehns are a "good" family. Central Bucks School District officials confirmed Biehn was suspended in April for hacking into the district's computer network. Students said Biehn routinely interfered with the school's computer system and had once manipulated the computer error message to read as a commentary on a school administrator.
CB East was closed last Friday as a precaution because officials were concerned a second threat found scrawled on the first-floor boys' bathroom wall at CB East last Thursday, after Biehn was in custody, might have been written by an accomplice. However, last Friday, Gibbons said authorities believed the second message was actually a hoax. Although the exact wording of the messages was not released, authorities said the threat was clearly aimed at and intended to harm students with an explosive device to be detonated at the high school last Friday.
The drama began on Friday, May 27, according to school officials and prosecutors, after the suspect reported finding the first threatening message written on the bathroom wall. Later on, two students informed authorities they thought they knew he was really behind the threat. They told authorities he boasted about making bombs and planning to blow something up, saying he showed them a photo of the bomb-making materials he had posted on his web site. Police responded with a search warrant of his home last Thursday, found the bomb-making materials, potassium nitrate, fuses and cylinders, and verified he did create such a web site. They said this type of material is not easily obtainable. It has not yet been determined if an actual bomb was ever constructed.
No explosives were found in the school last Thursday, and it was declared safe for occupancy. However, after Biehn was taken into custody, a second message, repeating the threat to explode a bomb at the school last Friday, was found last Thursday afternoon, dredging up concerns about an accomplice. It read to the effect "You got my friend, but you didn't get me." Law enforcement officials from several agencies, along with bomb-sniffing dogs, again combed the school grounds, inside and out, for several hours into early last Friday morning. No suspicious materials were detected.
Despite the outcome of the school search, Biehn is facing serious criminal charges punishable with severe penalties should he be convicted on the possession of explosives and terroristic threat charges. "We have to treat this as a credible threat," said Gibbons.
Canadian teen convicted in bomb plot
Globe & Mail, Jun 13, 2005
Doylestown, Pa. — A Canadian teen with an alleged hatred of America was found guilty Monday of two counts involving a plot to blow up his school. Travis Biehn, 17, was led away from court in handcuffs and leg irons after the verdict was read as his Newfoundland-born parents looked on calmly. He will stay in juvenile detention for up to 20 days while he is examined by psychologists.
District Attorney Diane Gibbons said she couldn't speculate about Mr. Biehn's motive for obtaining bomb-making materials, but described the Grade 11 student as an "angry, unhappy" kid. She added that school authorities told her that Mr. Biehn, who's been in custody at a juvenile facility since June 2, had made anti-American comments and was unhappy living in the United States.
He was arrested after a bomb threat was scrawled in a school bathroom. Police, tipped off by two other students about the teen's website, found some materials in his bedroom that could be used to make a bomb, including several kilograms of potassium nitrate. Mr. Biehn was then charged with uttering terrorist threats and possessing incendiary devices. "We will now proceed, with the process of [finding out] what makes Travis Biehn tick," said Judge Kenneth Biehn, who's no relation to Mr. Biehn. "I don't know the answer to that." "I don't know what I have in front of me."
Critics in the community lambasted the family and called for strict punishment for Mr. Biehn after Ms. Gibbons suggested recently that he dislikes Americans and would rather live in Canada as a motive for the alleged bomb plot. She also noted that he wore an "I am Canadian" T-shirt to his first court appearance, something that played widely in local media organizations.
But others have said Mr. Biehn is an unwitting victim of the zero-tolerance policy in schools after the Columbine massacre and widespread fear of terrorism following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. "All this characterization about him hating Americans is very untrue," said resident Mai Pham, originally from Vietnam. "I've talked to him about it. We joke," said Pham, who works for a Catholic parrish in adult education. "I have a special feeling for Travis because I came from somewhere else. His comfort zone is back in Canada. It doesn't mean he wants to destroy here." Another friend said Mr. Biehn had been treated unfairly, adding that he and his father launch rockets as a hobby. "When they launch rockets, it's a neighborhood event," said Cathy Block, a composer who has worked with Travis at a community theatre group.
"Someone can point a finger and before you know it you're being stormtrooped and your child is being taken away," she said. "Certainly since 9-11, people are very shaken and overly cautious, and to the detriment of our civil liberties. I think he's been treated very unfairly."
Monday's proceeding is known as an adversary hearing, essentially a trial in juvenile court before judge alone. Mr. Biehn could now be detained until he's 21. Other options include a sentence involving community service.
Mr. Biehn's father, Brant, is a marketing director for pharmaceutical giant Merck. Born in Corner Brook on Newfoundland's west coast, he worked in Halifax and Montreal before moving his family, including wife Annette and daughter Tristen, 15, to the U.S. in 1997. He hasn't commented on the case. In court, a teacher's aide testified that Biehn told her on May 27 someone had written a bomb threat in the bathroom, while another teacher said he was informed by a different student the next day. But the matter never reached the principal, Jospeh Jennelle, until June 2, after the Memorial Day weekend, and the message had been wiped off by then. Mr. Jennelle called police that day and offered a $250 reward for information leading to a conviction on writing the bomb threat. Student Josh Collins, 16, testified Monday that he then informed Jennelle "for the safety of our school" that a week or two before, Biehn had shown him a personal website with pictures boxes containing white powder. Mr. Biehn told him it was potassium nitrate, said Mr. Collins. "He said he uses it to blow stuff up," the teen testified. "He didn't say he blows up buildings?" asked defence attorney Bill Goldman. "No," replied Mr. Collins.
Goldman argued that there was no proof that Mr. Biehn had either written the threat or was intending to build a bomb, and pointed out that another bomb threat appeared in a different bathroom at the school the day Mr. Biehn was arrested at home. That was dismissed by authorities as a copycat hoax.
2 children attacked by coyotes (in daylight in inner city). CBC, Apr 20, 2005. Go to COYOTES CHOMPING CHILDREN & ENVIRONMENTALISM is ANIMALISM
4.Old World Destruction and 16.Ministry of Truth and 23.The Proles and 25.Prolefeed and 20.Thought Police & Snitches and SCHOOLS LIKE PRISONS and TERROR BILL IS TERROR
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~
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