A particularly vocal GamerGate supporter has been arrested by the FBI after providing bomb-making instructions and encouragement to a person planning a terror attack at a Kansas 9/11 memorial, while posing as an Australian jihadist.
Joshua Goldberg – known online by a variety of aliases including his primary tag MoonMetropolis – is a 20-year old man from Florida. He had been a vocal supporter of GamerGate since late August 2014, posting to the #GamerGate hashtag regularly. He has also called Feminist Frequency‘s Anita Sarkeesian a scammer since 2012.
While it’s unclear whether Goldberg made any GamerGate-related threats, he certainly made several in other parts of his life. The 20-year old is charged with distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction.
It seems that over the past couple of months, Goldberg was in contact with an individual who was planning a terror attack on US soil. Goldberg allegedly provided this person with bomb-making instructions, suggesting the use of a pipe bomb or pressure cooker bomb (similar to the one used at the Boston Marathon), filled with nails, metal, broken glass and other shrapnel, dipped in rat poison.
Goldberg also suggested that the bomb be placed in Kansas City, at a memorial recognising the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The September 13 event was described as the “perfect place”, where firefighters and first responders gather to mourn those who died in the September 11 attacks, and a large number of people were expected to gather.
Goldberg, using the online alias Australi Witness allegedly told his contact:
Get FAR away from the bomb, brother. There’s going to be chaos when it goes off. Shrapnel, blood, and panicking Kuffar will be everywhere.
Australi Witness claimed to be a Islamic State-supporting Lebanese refugee based in Australia. Goldberg’s other online aliases included a white supremacist and a Jewish lawyer. He had been on the FBI’s radar since taking credit for inspiring an attack on the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest, where two gunmen opened fire on a police officer and security officer before being shot and killed by police. Prior to the attack, Australi Witness had posted a map of the event venue, calling anyone nearby to attack “with your weapons, bombs and knives”. Despite coming from a Jewish family, Goldberg – as Australi Witness – labelled “the Jews” as “the worst enemies of Allah (SWT)”, threatening attacks on synagogues in Melbourne and Los Angeles.
Goldberg has confessed “in substance” to being the voice behind Australi Witness and associated accounts. He has also posted under his own name – and that of MoonMetropolis – on various websites, posing as a free-speech fundamentalist.
Nothing that anyone could possibly say could ever be worse than a law preventing them from saying it. If you expressed the opinion that I should be killed, I would still defend your right to say that.
Goldberg’s father is reportedly shocked by the charges against his son, declining to comment to the media. Joshua Ryne Goldberg is currently in FBI custody and faces 20 years in prison if he is convicted.