Hawaii man says he's devastated about sending missile alert

The unidentified worker who sent a ballistic missile threat message in Hawaii appeared on NBC Nightly News on Feb. 2 2018

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

The incident "shines a light" on the state's system failures, the man who sent the alert said, adding that he believed the federal government should handle such alerts.

A former Hawaii state worker who sent a false missile alert last month said on Friday he was devastated about causing panic but had been "100% sure" at the time that the attack was real.

The employee also reportedly had at least two previous incidents in which he mistook drills for real-world events, including for tsunami and fire warnings.

In an interview with multiple news outlets for the first time, the man who accidentally triggered widespread panic said he's been made a scapegoat by Hawaii Emergency Management and the state.

The unnamed man said he is still receiving death threats, was sacked after the state completed its investigation into the January 13 incident.

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Once he realized the exercise was a drill and not a real threat, the man said he "just wanted to crawl under a rock".

"Reading the newspapers and seeing the false information out there, it's very hurtful and I feel a lot of guilt from what has happened", the former HI-EMA employee said. I feel that myself. "The last few weeks and it's been very hard". Officials revealed that the employee who sent the alert was sacked January 26. The supervisor played a simulated missile notice that mimicked an actual message from the US military's Pacific Command and warned worker of the fake threat.

The man said he heard the words "This is not a drill" in a voice he did not recognize and reacted as he was trained to do.

"I didn't hear the word 'exercise, '" he said. Gen. Bruce Oliveira of the Hawaii National Guard.

He also said protocols for the drills he was involved in changed each time.

The Jan. 13 alert was sent out to over 1 million people via cell phones and caused a mass hysteria among the locals, who already feared a nuclear attack by North Korea, thanks to the hate-mongering rhetoric of President Donald Trump.

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A second alert notifying residents that the warning had been sent in error wasn't transmitted for 38 minutes.

Oliviera said the employee had been working at HEMA for 10 years and had a history of work performance issues.

Scared citizens called his colleagues, he said.

The false alert happened after a botched message played during the unannounced drill.

The drill began on the morning of January 13 as the man, who had been with the agency for 11 1/2 years, according to his lawyer, and his coworkers were just logging on to their computers at the beginning of their shifts, he said.

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