Tweet Triggers Cruise Scare

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 2:54pm

FBI agents search for biological weapon after "parody" tweet.

A malicious tweet is being blamed after FBI agents and Homeland Security officials searched for signs of a bio-hazard attack on a cruise ship in Galveston, Texas.

Dr. Jack Kruse, a neurosurgeon from Nashville, went on a Carnival cruise ship in Galveston on Sunday to give a speech about his unique diet plan.

Instead, Kruse ended up as a bio-terrorism suspect.

"They blew up the room looking for things. They went through my bags," said Kruse. "I had no idea what I was being accused of. They went out of their way not to tell me. When I tell you this was a scene out of '24,' that's exactly what it was like."

The investigation began after a threatening tweet was sent from a Twitter account that uses Kruse's name.

It mentioned him having a vial of a disease for a "bio hack" on the ship.

Someone notified Carnival.

The cruise line called the FBI, prompting agents and Port of Galveston police to board the ship.

Kruse was questioned and taken off of the ship.

"It was beyond me how one tweet could cause this kind of trouble," he said.

Investigators discovered that the tweet didn't come from Kruse.

Instead, it came from a parody account that uses his name.

Kruse said Carnival sent out a letter to passengers on Monday saying the FBI confirmed the threatening message didn't come from him.

Carnival said he was taken off the ship because the investigation was still ongoing and the cruise line takes all security threats seriously.

The investigation raises questions about what happens when someone else uses social media in your name.

"We need to be constantly aware of how technology can be great or how it can be horrible for you," said Kruse.

Legal experts said they aren't exactly sure how to prevent it from happening.
 

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