AN ANONYMOUS online troll threatened a copycat shooting at Edinburgh University today following the Oregon college shooting which claimed 10 lives.
On Thursday morning a shooter – believed to by 26 year-old Chris Harper-Mercer, who was born in England – opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.
Hours before the Oregon killing an anonymous user – believed to be Harper-Mercer – used online message board 4chan to warn of his shooting spree.
But just hours after the Oregon rampage on Thursday morning another anonymous poster used the same 4chan board to threaten to commit a copycat shooting at Edinburgh University.
Mimicking the original threat, a new post appeared featuring an image of a shotgun and the words: “Hark, my brothers, the Beta Uprising is finally here.
“Don’t go to University of Edinburgh tomorrow.
“To all the normies viewing this, keep checking the news, you’ll see a lot of us on the news over the next few days.”
The post was made in reply to conversation around the Oregon shooting.
The “Beta Uprising” is believed to refer to quiet, downtrodden and bullied men rising up with acts of violence.
The phrase has been linked with the 2014 Elliot Rodger shootings in Isla Vista, California.
Prior to the shooting Rodgers uploaded a video manifesto, saying that he intended to commit the shooting to punish women for rejecting him and other men for being more romantically successful.
The threats towards Edinburgh University have been made public on other message boards – with some students saying they will be skipping class as a result.
On Reddit – another online message board – one user responded to warnings about the threats, saying: “I hate to bow to paranoia, but I’m going to give my lectures a miss tomorrow (I go to Edinburgh).”
Another agreed, adding: “Better safe than sorry to be honest.”
One more said: “That’s very worrying. It’s most likely a troll, but with recent events, yeah, needs to be taken seriously.”
The university declined to comment on the threats – directing all enquiries to Police Scotland.
But speaking to The Tab – an Edinburgh student publication – an anonymous member of security staff was quoted as saying: “Edinburgh University Security Section are aware of the possible threat towards The University on 2nd October 2015 and are dealing with it in accordance to our procedures and in liaison with Police Scotland.
“Please be assured the safety of our students and staff are a priority.”
Police would not answer whether they believed the threat to be credible or whether they were taking any further measures to protect the University.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police Scotland is investigating following reports of a communication posted to a website. Enquiries into this communication are currently ongoing.”
The anonymous poster believed to be Harper-Mercer made the original shooting threats on Wednesday night.
His post read: “Some of you guys are alright. Don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest.”
“Will post again in am, 10 min countdown. Won’t say more to much to prepare.”
Just hours later a shooter entered Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
Ten were killed in his rampage – including the gunman himself – and now US police are investigating a possible link between the online threat, which has now been deleted, and the horrific crime.
4chan was established in 2003 and is perhaps best known for hacking celebrities’ cloud storage and releasing a series of naked images of Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Lawrence and Ariana Grande, among others.
4chan is notorious for the extreme content sometimes posted to its message boards – and violent threats are not uncommon on the site.
However, users in the past have been linked to legitimate threats.
On January 21, 2014, an anonymous poster threatened to bomb a school in Fairview, Kentucky, and was identified and arrested, charged with second degree terroristic threatening