Former Northeastern University tech manager convicted of bomb hoax

Jason Duhaime was found guilty by a jury of orchestrating a bomb threat that supposedly demanded closure of his Immersive Media Lab.
A Black male student wearing a pale blue shirt and backpack walks past a large wooden sign painted with the words "Northeastern University".
A student walks through Krentzman Quadrangle on Northeastern University Campus on September 14, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer / Getty Images)

A technology manager at Northeastern University who was arrested in 2022 was convicted by a federal jury on Friday of orchestrating a bomb hoax and making false statements to a federal law enforcement agent.

Jason Duhaime, 46, was the technology manager and director of the Boston university’s Immersive Media Lab when he called police in September 2022 claiming that a plastic case he’d found and opened projected “very sharp” objects at him, cutting his arms. The case also contained a rambling, anonymous note with threats to destroy the lab, though forensic examination of one of Duhaime’s laptop computers revealed a word-for-word copy of the same document.

The note included a conspiracy theory that Mark Zuckerberg was working with the U.S. government to coerce the public into living in a virtual world.

““In the case you got today we could have planted explosives but not this time!!! Take notice!!! You have two months to take operations down or else!!!!! WE ARE WATCHING YOU,” the note read.


Duhaime’s contact with police rallied the community to find the terrorist who’d planted the case Duhaime claimed to have found. Shortly after the episode began unfolding, he told the Boston Globe that police “need to catch the guy that did this.”

Police did catch Duhaime, first becoming suspicious when they saw that while he had small bruises and marks on his forearms, the long-sleeved shirt he’d been wearing had not been damaged.

“Bomb hoaxes like the one the defendant fabricated here have real life consequences,” Acting U.S. Attorney Josh Levy said in a statement. “Communities are put in fear, law enforcement personnel are diverted from other important duties and there are significant financial repercussions. As we experience a wave of bomb hoaxes in schools, houses of worship and other gathering places, we will work closely with our local, state and federal partners to hold accountable anyone who tries to inject fear and distress into our community.”

Duhaime was fired from Northeastern University in 2022. His sentencing is scheduled for October.

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