Accused FAA arsonist didn’t think fire would have major impact

SHARE Accused FAA arsonist didn’t think fire would have major impact

Shortly before Brian Howard allegedly set the Federal Aviation Administration facility fire that paralyzed U.S. air traffic Friday, he predicted his actions would have limited consequence beyond his own demise, according to a Facebook posting.

The only way chaos could break out, Howard wrote, was if government employees bungled their response to his sabotage efforts at the Aurora facility — earning their reputation for being “lazy and useless.”

“The outage I’m about to take should not take a large toll on the air space as all comms should be switched to the alt location which will most likely cause some delays,” Howard wrote in the private Facebook post, which was obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. “That being said, who knows what else will become a factor due to gov’t employees being in control of the upcoming situation.”

The post, which went live minutes before Howard allegedly set the fire and tried to take his own life, offers a glimpse of Howard’s state of mind at the time. Howard’s attorney Ron Safer declined to comment on the posting, though he said Monday that Howard was a “deeply troubled man.”

The posting alarmed a family member, who called police. About the same time, an employee at the facility called authorities to report a fire in the control center.

First responders found smoke, exposed telecommunication wires and a bloody trail leading to Howard, who was apparently despondent over an impending transfer to Hawaii.

They found the 36-year-old contract worker shirtless, under a table, trying to slit his own throat, according to a criminal complaint filled in U.S. District Court, where Howard was charged with destruction of an aircraft facility.

In the Facebook posting, Howard said he was “stoned and nervous” about the actions he was about to undertake And he said he had little hope for humanity, referring to the public as “lazy.”

“I have no faith. Not in humanity anyway, you are all about death,” he wrote.

Then he turned his focus to the U.S. governmentand encouraged the public to question its actions.

“WAKE UP!! This is a gov’t by the people, for the people and of the people which right now equates to immoral and unethical acts. That’s why terrorists and 3rd world nations hate us, because our tax dollars go to more unrest than rest,” Howard wrote.

He continued: “We deserve the retribution from people who do not have the same ability for education, work and way of life. Take a hard look in the mirror, I have. And this is why I am about to take out ZAU and my life,” he said, referring to the the three-letter call sign for the Aurora facility.

He closed the rant byapologizing to his family for “leaving you with a big mess.” Then he turned to the task at hand.

I “feel like I give a s ––– for the first time in a long time again . . . but not for too long (haha!),” Howard wrote. “So I’m gonna smoke this blunt and move on, take care everyone.”

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