As per reports, the accused have been identified as one Malik Sanchez. In February this year, the Youtuber had live-streamed a video where he pretended to be a ‘suicide bomber’ to scare two female diners outside a restaurant. Before threatening to blow himself up, Sanchez had positioned himself near the table of the diners. He then yelled, “Let’s enhance their meal…Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. ‘Bomb detonation in two, in two minutes. I take you with me and I kill all you.”
To make his act look genuine, the prankster further added, “And I kill all you for Allah. F, f that s. I’m gonna Allah. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna f**g do it for Allah. I’m gonna do it, for, Allah, Allah, Allahu Akbar, Come on. I do it, bomb now, bomb now.” This prompted the diners to immediately flee the scene and rush back into the restaurant. During the act, Sanchez kept laughing as the video garnered views on Youtube. Reportedly, he was encouraged by his audience who kept on sending him cash tips.
When the police received information about the incident, they immediately rushed to the spot. However, Sanchez had left the scene by then, although the video of his prank remained on his Youtube channel. During the court hearing, counsel Clay Kaminsky had dubbed the prankster as an ‘attention seeker’ who was in need of help. Earlier in May, US attorney (Manhattan) Audrey Strauss remarked, “As alleged, Malik Sanchez perpetrated a hoax bomb threat at a Manhattan restaurant that frightened innocent victims, sowed chaos, and diverted precious law enforcement resource.”
In May this year, Judge Collen McMahon put Sanchez on home confinement, three weeks after his arrest. She noted, “The first thing I thought was, this is a kid who needs to be seeing a psychiatrist, this is somebody who needs mental health counselling. I’ve seen the crime. I’ve seen it, because he videotaped it, and he broadcast it on YouTube and it’s disgusting. It’s absolutely disgusting. It’s juvenile, it’s puerile, it’s deeply troubling, but it’s available. Anybody who thinks what I saw in the video was funny is definitely in need of mental health care, definitely.”
Malik Sanchez sought inspiration from an ‘incel’ killer
The Youtuber had entered a plea deal and now faces up to 5 years in prison for conveying misleading information and hoax. Reportedly, Sanchez will be sentenced on February 8 next year. He sought inspiration from Elliot Rodger, who killed 6 people and injured 14 others in the 2014 Isla Vista Killings. Rodger is considered the ‘hero’ who started the incel movement. An incel is a young man who considers himself an ‘involuntary celibate’ for not being able to attract a romantic partner, despite desrining for one.
Sanchez had expressed disturbing views in support of Rodger. He said, “(The victims) deserved to be run over and hit by a truck. They deserved to be slaughtered.” His Youtube videos feature him approaching strangers and young women and insulting them on the face. He had earlier pleaded guilty for illegally climbing the Queensboro bridge. Reportedly, incels had committed at least 5 deadly attacks since 2014 in the US and Canada, killing 28 people in total.