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November 22, 2011

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2 years in prison for '2012' tower hoax

AN obsessed fan of the Hollywood disaster film "2012" was sentenced to two years in prison for issuing a false bomb threat in the city's highest and largest sightseeing hall in Jin Mao Tower to warn about the movie's doomsday theory, the Pudong New Area People's Court said yesterday.

The 23-year-old, surnamed Yin, wrapped himself with a ring of homemade "explosives" and threatened to bomb up the sightseeing hall on the 88th floor of the Jin Mao Tower about 3:40pm on March 1.

Yin held a knife in one hand and a cell phone in the other. He talked to police over the phone, demanding to talk with high-level city leaders or he would destroy the tower, the court said.

The agitated young man repeatedly said, "The Earth is going to be destroyed!" before he was persuaded by the police to disarm at 5pm.

The court heard that Yin, a Shandong Province native, was an orphan raised by his grandparents. He became a paranoid believer of the apocalyptic movie "2012" after watching it in the summer of 2010 when he was working at a hotpot restaurant in Jiangyin, a city in Shanghai's neighboring Jiangsu Province.

To convince more people that "the doomsday is coming," Yin chose the high-profile Jin Mao Tower as his target and came to Shanghai at the end of last year.

He bought two knives and a steel rod from an online store and made a fake bomb for the desired terror effect, and he caused panic among the public.

"I want more people to know that the Earth will be destroyed in 2012, so they still have time to build more shelters to save lives," said Yin in court.

The judges convicted Yin of carrying dangerous objects even though the "bomb" he made could not explode.


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