Fear was created among local military personnel in Marietta, Ga. on what turned out to be a hoax.
According to 11 Alive News, National Guard soldier Brett Downing, 23, filed a false report July 21, 2015 alleging that terrorists threats were being made against American soldiers.
He works as an information technologist specialist with the National Guard.
He said he found a note under his windshield wipers on his car after work at his private company. He told police he felt he was targeted in the parking lot because his car has Army Reservist plates.
The note was typed and said:
dear american soldier,
death to you coward women child killer and all of the American military.
mohammed will show no mercy on you
attacks will come full force
death is to come to you
The arrest warrant said Downing was re-interviewed on August 4th. Police said “during the interview he admitted to manufacturing the note and falsely reporting a crime.”
It is still not clear if the police had additional evidence linking the note to Downing that spread through social media.
This hoax caused panic among the service. Veterans at the VFW Post in Marietta removed military stickers from their cars after hearing of the threat.
Post Commander Tracy Marion is angry to hear it was a hoax.
“(I’m a) 20 year veteran, retired marine, yes, that would insult me, it does,” he said.
Veteran Mike Wells said many veterans were worried when they heard of the note.
“It did make me concerned for the veterans and our patrons that come to the VFW, that someone would threaten veterans,” he said.
The timing of Downing filing the false report was also a concern. It was filed just five days after five military members were shot to death in Chattanooga, Tenn.
According to WSB-TV, Veteran Jack Carver said that the note did raise some concerns with him.
“I will say it did raise my anxiety level,” said Carvers, “There’s enough anxiety now without having stuff like this happen, so the gang here I’m sure is pretty upset about it.”
Wells is relieved it was a hoax after all, but still upset.
“I was even more upset but relieved that now we don’t have to look over our shoulder as much,” Wells said.
Wells said he wants Downing to get justice, but also help if he needs it.
Carver wants justice as well.
He said, “The appropriate level of justice be serve and if he needs help, he seeks help.