‘Minecraft’ game cured my son ‘, says mother of teenage hacker who unleashed 400 bomb threats in school


A mom accused Minecraft prep gangs of persuading her autistic son to launch a bombshell campaign that left him incurring 65 years in an American prison.

George Duke-Cohan, then 19, sparked chaos with a massive threat to thousands of schools and a United Airlines flight between the UK and San Francisco in March 2018.


This is the moment George Duke-Cohan, 19, was arrested in his room in Watford last weekCredit: National Crime Agency
    Duke-Cohan sent the creepy threats amid a feud over the Minecraft building set


Duke-Cohan sent the creepy threats amid a feud over the Minecraft building setCredit: Central News

George, from Watford, Herts, admitted to being behind the nationwide homemade bomb hoax after being arrested in his bedroom just days after the attack.

Mom Mireya, 49, shared how her reclusive son got drawn into the world of hacking after being prepped on Microsoft’s Minecraft game.

She told the Sunday Telegraph: “While you think you are doing your best, unless you play the game with them, you really don’t know. There are predators who are a lot smarter than you are. think so.

“It’s so easy for kids to be trained and before you know it you’re not in the game doing these things, it’s in the outside world. I think these games are deadly.”

It is preparing, rewarding and training without knowing that you are being trained.

Mireya Duke-Cohan

“They use it to see who’s fit, who has skills and as recruiting -“ Let’s pick people in Minecraft and see who’s really good. ”It’s grooming, rewarding and training without knowing that you are being formed. “

George’s mother, Mirena, also believes prison is good for her son.

She said: “I am proud that he is outspoken. Prison does him good because he has to grow up.

The threatening emails were rigged to look like they had been sent by a gaming network known as VeltPvP – a server used in Minecraft.

Up to 24,000 messages have been sent to schools across the UK, including the North East, London, Bristol and Humberside.

On August 9, 2018, his group of hackers known as “Apophis Squad” claimed on their Twitter page that UAL Flight 949 had been grounded because of their actions.


National Crime Agency investigators working with the FBI identified that Duke-Cohan launched bomb threats against the flight to the United States through phone calls to the San Francisco airport and their police Office.

In a recording of one of the phone calls – which was made while the plane was in the air – he posed as a worried father whose daughter was on the flight.

He claimed his panicked daughter had contacted him to tell him the plane had been hijacked by armed men, including one with a bomb.

Duke-Cohan said he called London Heathrow Airport who replied that they would “pass the information on” and that he “waited to hear something in return”.

The worried 295 passengers had to stay on board while cops searched the cabin.

He was arrested by NCA agents at his home in Watford, Herts on August 31 – and now faces up to 65 years in prison.

Mireya added, “After the interview with the NCA (National Crime Agency), I told him ‘why the hell did you do it’ because I didn’t think he would do something so stupid.

“He said ‘it’s pretty simple, if I hadn’t done that our family would have been attacked online and I would have been excommunicated from the group. There would have been a lot of trouble for all of us.”

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