Intel worker paid friend to make IS bomb threat to get off work

Hungover? No worries, just get your mate to phone your work and tell them it’s Islamic State and you’ve put bombs on their premises. What could go wrong?

Aaron O'Neill

Aaron O’Neill

On the 13th of January, after being out drinking and “taking tablets” the night before, 20-year-old Aaron O’Neill really couldn’t face getting out of bed for work at Intel. He decided the best course of action at 6am was to pay a friend to phone in a bomb hoax from a payphone right outside his house.

The friend called 999 claiming there were multiple bombs on Intel’s premises saying: “You will not find them. This is a warning, we’re everywhere now”. When he was asked who was calling, he replied “Islamic State”.

The call resulted in 4,000 Intel employees being stopped from going to work, a motorway was shut down and nearby air travel was disrupted. Aaron did however get an extra two hours kip.

It wasn’t until a month later that the pair were caught. Aaron’s friend, Colin Hammond who he had paid to make the call was in a taxi, coincidentally arriving at a police station, where he was refusing to pay his fare. When an officer arrived to resolve the situation, he happened recognised Colin’s voice from the bomb hoax a month ago. Colin was promptly arrested, which led them back to Aaron in short order.

Appearing in court, Aaron faces 200 hours of community service in lieu of a 2 year prison sentence. The judge, Martin Nolan described the situation as “profoundly stupid” and “a very, very strange way to avoid going to work”.

The pair claim they didn’t realise the call what cause so much disruption, with Hammond saying: “He hates work and I made a phone call so he wouldn’t have to go to work”.

Such a nice lad. Maybe pay the taxi fare next time, Colin?