Michigan man arrested for alleged antisemitic death threats against state AG and other officials

Michigan man arrested for alleged antisemitic death threats against state AG and other officials
Image via Creative Commons.

Michigan has been a high priority for violent far-right extremists. In 2020, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was the target of a kidnapping plot by members of militia groups. And armed militia agitators were a threatening presence at some of the rallies against pandemic restrictions in that state.

Michigan's Democratic state attorney general, Dana Nessel, takes the threat seriously and heads a unit on hates crimes and domestic terrorism. Nessel herself, according to CNN, has been the target of death threats. And a man is now facing federal charges in connection with alleged antisemitic threats against Nessel and other Michigan officials who, like Nessel, are Jewish.

On February 18, according to CNN, the FBI National Threat Operations Center informed the FBI's Detroit office that a Twitter user who went by @tempered_reason was threatening to kill anyone who was Jewish and working in Michigan's state government. And that Twitter address, according to CNN, was "traced" to a Michigan resident named Jack Eugene Carpenter III. He has been arrested and is due to appear in court this Friday, March 3.

READ MORE:Most political violence in America is coming from the 'far right' — not the left: conservative

In court, CNN reports, federal prosecutor Hank Moon noted, "When the defendant was arrested, in his vehicle they found approximately a half dozen firearms and ammunition. One of the threats he made was to shoot somebody."

In a March 2 Twitter post, Nessel wrote, "The FBI has confirmed I was a target of the heavily armed defendant in this matter. It is my sincere hope that the federal authorities take this offense just as seriously as my Hate Crimes & Domestic Terrorism Unit takes plots to murder elected officials."

The Michigan attorney general also tweeted, "If you are a victim of a hate crime or have credible information about a hate crime, please contact the Michigan Department of Attorney General at 313-456-0180."

Nessel linked to an article published by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) on March 1. According to JTA's Andrew Lapin, Carpenter "appears to have been a former employee of the University of Michigan."

READ MORE: Two men found guilty in plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Carpenter, Lapin reports, also allegedly "made references to several prominent right-wing conspiracy theories, including the QAnon movement and the belief that President Joe Biden was not lawfully elected."

Axios' Jacob Knutson reports that Carpenter lives in Tipton, Michigan but is being charged with "making threatening interstate communications." The FBI alleges that he made the online threats against Nessel and others while visiting Texas.

Knutson notes that Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan) is also Jewish. Slotkin is seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat presently held by four-term Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who in January, announced that she will not be seeking reelection in 2024.

"(Slotkin's) office did not immediately respond to Axios' inquiry about whether she had been contacted by the FBI," Knutson reports.

READ MORE: Buffalo white supremacist supermarket gunman sentenced to life without parole

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