Dallas ISD has now released the email that was sent to nearly a dozen staffers at two schools threatening jihad-like violence.
While the threat was not credible, the Joint Terrorism Task Force is leading the investigation that is now going deep into the cyber world.
The threat came via electronic mail and sent bomb-sniffing dogs through two Dallas ISD schools. It is word-for-word the same as the email that went to the Houston school system from a student claiming to have been bullied at a high school.
It said in part, “I found faith and comfort in Allah. My 46 jihad affiliates and I are going to unleash an [sic] massacre of epic proportion, targeting every single school and student in the district."
The intense investigation into the threat hopes to shed light in the dark virtual world.
Matt Anderson practices technology and privacy law at the Munck Wilson Mandala law firm and says the email to Dallas ISD and others likely came from the same person through proxy servers and anonymous servers on the Darknet.
“So you log in, you send your email, you’ve made up whatever address you wanted and they keep no record of who it was that sent that email,” he said.
Think of it as a tunnel -- the email goes in one way and comes out untraceable on the other end.
Some anonymous sites are even more sophisticated, randomly selecting a path for your email to travel from your server.
“Between a bunch of different random, anonymous nodes, and then comes out somewhere in the world, and that attaches to the email server, so in the end, even if they log the access, all they got was that last exit relay,” said Anderson.
Los Angeles and New York schools were the first districts to receive the terroristic threats. Those emails were said to be routed from Germany, but Anderson isn’t so sure.
“You can be anywhere in the world,” said Anderson. “Where it comes out if it’s a German email may come out in Germany, may come out in England, may come out in the U.S., but all they can do is trace back to that exit node and never come back to you.”
The government has good resources and lots of them, but you can see how they could run into a lot of dead ends as they try to trace the road the email traveled.