Co-founder of FanX charged with making bomb threats to Utah locations
SALT LAKE CITY — A former Utah resident — who founded a pop-culture convention that eventually became known as FanX — was arrested and charged this week in Hawaii, accused of delivering bomb threats about multiple Utah locations including “the city” in emails to Utah’s Third District Court.
KSL.com reports from charging documents that Bryan Brandenburg threatened to bomb Salt Lake’s Matheson Courthouse and mayor’s office, Utah’s State Capitol, locations at the University of Utah and “the sacred temple.”
Brandenburg was exchanging emails with employees in Utah’s Third District Court about his pending divorce. On May 2, when the ruling from a judge didn’t come as quickly enough, he sent an email with an expletive. A reply stated such language wouldn’t be tolerated and Brandenburg emailed the court with another expletive and wrote “I guess I’ll just have to bomb the city,” KSL.com reports.
On May 4 records show Brandenburg sent more emails with bomb threats, including one where it implied he had received his divorce ruling.
A further email stated: “We’re still going to bomb the 3rd District Courthouse. Hae (sic) a nice day.” Other emails stated, “Now we’re going to bomb the State Capital (sic).”
“An then…We’ll bomb the mayor’s office,” another email read. Other bomb threats were made against “every Ivy League School” and a federal courthouse in San Diego “to teach them a lesson.”
He also reportedly sent threats about bombings to Utah media including newspapers and a morning radio show. Those threats were forwarded to police.
On May 6 in Hawaii, FBI agents interviewed Brandenburg. Charging documents state he acknowledged sending the emails and read them out loud. Agents said he told them they were sent to pressure the court and his family to “get his money back that they stole from him.”
Brandenburg was arrested at his Waipahu home Monday, made a court appearance Tuesday and is scheduled to be back in court later this week. Court records show prosecutors want to hold the former Utahn while his case makes its way through the courts.
Brandenburg has been on a indefinitely leave of absence from FanX after reports mishandling of sexual harassment and publicly sharing an author’s contact information on Twitter. He apologized on the convention’s blog page, which is no longer published.
Author Shannon Hale detailed her interactions on her Tumblr page.
Brandenburg was also at the center of a California court ruling when then-named Salt Lake Comic Con and San Diego Comic Con, part of a non-profit, were in court over convention names. The San Diego organization contented the Salt Lake event intentionally caused brand confusion during its event in San Diego. A judge eventually ordered the event Brandenburg co-founded to change its name and pay nearly $4 million in court fees.
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