In days A man hit a disturbing note on the message board of Mimilitia.com after the January riots on Capitol Hill. “I’m not a dumbass suicide bomber,” he posted below the handle of Dianis. But he “would happily kill a young man knowing that I did not allow the evils of this world to continue unjustly to treat my fellow Americans so disrespectfully.” In the months that followed, prosecutors say the man, whose real name was Seth Pendley, centered his anger on Amazon and plotted to destroy an Amazon Web Services data center in North Virginia with C-4 plastic explosives.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation took Pendeli, 26, into custody on Thursday; Court documents state he confessed to orchestrating the plan at the time of his arrest. The case reveals another surprising revelation in how the increasingly agitated speech from the far right has turned into a real-world threat. How did Dionysus want to finish his “little experiment”, asked another member of MyMilitia.com? “Death”
Pendley’s posts came at a time when Amazon was under intense scrutiny from the far right. The company announced on January 9 that it would sever ties with it Talk, The “free speech” social network that became a hotbed of harassment and extremism and hosted many participants in the January 6 attacks. “Looks like war,” a parlor member wrote in a poster Marked by John Paczakowski, editor of BuzzFeed News. “If someone with explosives training visits some AWS data centers – their locations are public knowledge.”
Two days later, Insider reported that a WS executive had sent a memo to staff urging surveillance in the wake of the parlor ban. “If you see something, say something – no situation or concern is too small or insignificant,” wrote Chris Vondarhar, AWS VP of Infrastructure.
Pendley claimed he was in the capital in January, but did not enter the building, court documents said in an official government and private post online. He expressed frustration that his colleagues were not more aggressive. “I think we all went into it with the intention of doing very little,” Dionysus wrote to Mimilitia.com. “How much did you expect when we all voluntarily disarmed?”
There were enough posts on Mimilitia.com that someone stopped the FBI; Investigators later gained access to Pendley’s Facebook messages through a search warrant and began a physical surveillance of his home in Wichita Falls, Texas. Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah said in a statement, “We are concerned about the citizens who came forward to report the defendant’s disturbing online argument.” “While flagging his posts to the FBI, this man probably saved the lives of several technicians.”
In late January, Pendle allegedly began communicating with a collaborator about a plan to attack AWS via an encrypted messaging app signal. “If I had cancer or something, I would have just bombed those servers,” Pendle wrote on February 19, according to Fenmi’s complaint. He eventually “hoped to kill about 100 percent of the Internet.” (AWS owns more than 30 percent of the global cloud market.) What Pendley didn’t realize was that the person he was sending was an FBI information technology.
The conspiracy continued from there, according to court documents. On Feb. 22, Pendley said he ordered a topographic map of Virginia, which includes several AWS data centers. The following month, FBI agents discovered that Pendle had painted his silver pontiac black as a tactic to conceal his identity during the attack.
On March 31, Pendley appeared as an explosives supplier and had a personal meeting with an associate and a disguised FBI agent. There, Pendelli spoke of plans to bomb the AWS data center in North Virginia, saying he believed the services were provided for the CIA, FBI and other federal government agencies. Prosecutors say he planned to fabricate special boxes that could handle the power of these explosions.