Two teenagers in Utah were arrested for making terrorist threats after they were overheard plotting an attack on Highland High School.
Talk about terrorist threats isn’t cheap
According to a family member of a witness, two teenagers who attended Highland High School were heard talking about bringing guns to school and opening fire on other students. Police determined the threat was likely a horrible joke and there was no evidence found to verify that the students were even capable of carrying out such a violent act. Regardless, both teens are facing serious criminal charges for their empty threats.
Implied threat to commit
Utah Code 76-5-107.3 states “A person commits a threat of terrorism if the person threatens to commit any offense involving bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, and: ( . . . ) Cause[s] an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies to take action due to the person’s conduct posing a serious and substantial risk to the general public.” That section of Utah Code also states that “it is not a defense under this section that the person did not attempt to carry out or was incapable of carrying out the threat.” Also noted is that “a threat ( . . . ) may be express[ed] or implied.”
Angry adolescents or terrorists in the making
Whether or not the students were literally making terrorist threats against the school or just blowing off steam is irrelevant to law enforcement who take any terrorist threat very seriously. The two teenagers mentioned using firearms and not weapons of mass destruction such as bombs or chemical weapons, so the charges against them will likely range anywhere from a class B misdemeanor to a third degree felony instead of the higher second degree felony. Nevertheless, when teens are facing serious criminal charges such as making terrorist threats, parents are always encouraged to consult with an experienced juvenile defense attorney to ensure the best possible outcome for kids who have made a terrible mistake.