Charges To Be Dropped Against Raisethefist.com Owner
By Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, U.S.A.,
15 Feb 2002, 10:44 AM CST
Federal charges will be dropped against the teen-aged operator of anti-government site Raisethefist.com, a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office in central California confirmed today.
Sherman Austin, 18, was arrested Feb. 2 in New York at a demonstration against the World Economic Forum. He currently is being held in a federal transfer detention center in Oklahoma City, enroute to his home state of California.
"We have opted not to seek an indictment at this time. We are continuing to investigatate the matter, but as of right now, he's off the hook," said Thomas Mrozek, public affairs officer for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.
A self-described anarchist, Austin was charged Feb. 4 with violating U.S. Code title 18, section 842, which prohibits the publication of information about making explosives. The teen was also charged with possession of a Molotov cocktail, which is considered an "unregistered firearm" by the FBI.
The case is seen by some as a test of First Amendment rights on the Internet following the terrorist attacks on America on and following Sept. 11.
In an interview with Newsbytes following the FBI raid last month, Austin said he was being targeted for his anti-government views and said, "If I go to jail, then I will go to jail not based on my actions, but based on what I think."
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