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UMass student arrested in Chicago bomb threat

Sears Tower was target, police say

A college student was arrested yesterday on charges he made a false threat claiming that a Muslim man would conduct a suicide-bomb attack on the Sears Tower in Chicago, authorities said.

Adam Hart, 21, of Georgetown, pleaded not guilty in US District Court to a one-count indictment charging him with maliciously conveying false information.

He was released on $10,000 bond, the US attorney's office said.

Hart was a student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth on April 22 when he sent an e-mail to the National Security Agency, authorities said.

The e-mail named a college student in Chicago whom Hart believed would detonate a bomb at the Sears Tower, prosecutors said.

Based on the message, authorities in Chicago began securing the Sears Tower and investigating the person identified.

The investigation revealed that Hart's message was false and that Hart allegedly sent "ethnically derogatory" e-mail messages to the man in the days before contacting the NSA, authorities said.

Hart allegedly e-mailed the student in Chicago after contacting the NSA and said he "ratted him out," according to US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan.

"Hoax bomb threats prey on the public's worst fears and divert the time, attention, and precious resources of law enforcement from its true mission," Sullivan said in a statement.

Hart has since transferred to UMass-Amherst. He has no phone listing in the Amherst area. He did not immediately return a call after a message was left at his parents' home in Georgetown.

Hart is due back in court Jan. 16.

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