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Anime director cleared of internet terrorism

by on09 October 2012

Claimed his computer was hacked

An anime director who was charged with posting a message on the Osaka Municipal Government's website threatening to "perpetrate mass murder" has been cleared.

Masaki Kitamura was released after prosecutors found his PC had been infected with a virus that could have allowed others to control it remotely and send the message. The Osaka District Public Prosecutor's Office released Kitamura, who lives in Suita and worked as assistant director in the popular anime TV series "Mobile Suit Gundam 00." He denied the charges.

The hackers posted a message reading: "I will perpetrate mass murder in Otaroad  which is a shopping district on August. 5." More than 90 police were put on alert. No attack took place. The Osaka Prefectural Police also suspected he might be implicated in a bomb threat sent via email to Japan Airlines Corp. on August 1. The carrier immediately ordered a flight bound for New York to return to Tokyo, but no bomb was discovered onboard.

It seems that there is a lot of this sort of thing going on in the Land of the Rising Sun. Mie Prefectural Police said they have released a 28-year-old man who was arrested September 14 on suspicion of posting a message on an Internet message board warning he would destroy the Ise grand shrine, after the same virus that infected Kitamura's PC was discovered in his computer.

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