Hawaii worker who sent missile alert was '100% sure' attack was real

"I was 100 percent sure that it was the right decision, that it was real".

"I really do empathise with what I put them through, I just regret that this happened", he said. "It was a system failure".

The man who says he sent out the false ballistic missile alert last month in Hawaii that caused more than a half hour of panic said Friday he thinks he is being treated unfairly, and he was positive at the time the drill was real.

The man reiterated claims that officials in Hawaii released: that the worker heard "this is not a drill" at some point during the training exercise and assumed that the threat of an incoming missile was real.

Because that man is still getting death threats, they've asked us to protect his identity by blurring his face. As soon as he realized his error, he "just wanted to crawl under a rock".

"I feel very badly for what's happened, the panic and the stress people felt, and all the hurt and pain, you know". "I feel awful about it". It was very, very hard, very emotional.

An image from NBC's interview with the worker who sent the missile alert in Hawaii. It also included language scripted for use during an actual missile alert: "This is not a drill". The supervisor played a simulated missile notice that mimicked an actual message from the USA military's Pacific Command and warned worker of the fake threat.

The recorded drill message began and ended with the words: "Exercise!"

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The man said this time he never heard "exercise, exercise, exercise" over the secure phone for emergencies because someone picked up the handset before transferring it to a speaker. Gen. Moses Kaoiwi, director of joint staff with the Hawaii National Guard, as interim agency administrator.

The employee, who has since been terminated, said he worked at the Hawaii agency for 11.5 years.

The alert was sent to people in Hawaii on January 13 and caused mass panic and fear.

But HI-EMA didn't send a retraction to cellphones until 38 minutes after the original alert.

Oliviera said the employee had been working at HEMA for 10 years and had a history of work performance issues. Officials also revealed that the alert sender had twice before confused a drill with real-life events.

Scared citizens called his colleagues, he said. In the weeks since the January 13 incident, the worker said he has received death threats, with his lawyer adding that they are still deciding whether or not to sue the state.

"The death threats that have been coming into the agency and they were notifying me of those, I've been very anxious about my safety and the safety of my family", the former HI-EMA employee said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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