In the Quantico episode ‘Mockingbird,’ the team is alerted by their new leader Clay (Hunter Parrish) of a report of an explosion at a chemical storage plant in Virginia. When Owen (Blair Underwood) leads the investigation, they discover all of it – the photos, videos, social media posts and reports being picked-up by news organizations – is a hoax. Dayana (Pearl Thusi) compares it to the real-life 2014 hoax in Louisiana, which she explains was “created and carried out by Russian hackers.”
On September 11, 2014, reports of an alleged explosion at the Columbian Chemicals plant in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana were sent to local residents via text messages and social media accounts. Several reports claimed that ISIS had taken responsibility for the attack. An analysis by Betaworks determined the effort likely originated inside Russia. An article in The New York Times Magazine (published in June 2015, written by Adrian Chen) claimed the hoax was the work of the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, Russia. Quantico airs Mondays at 10pm on ABC.