Author of bomb threats directed at Minneapolis City Council members faces stiff penalty if caught
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The person who wrote threatening emails to all 13 members of the Minneapolis City Council on Easter morning could face multiple felony charges, a former U.S. attorney told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.
The author indicated they were willing to plant bombs at the homes of each of the City Council members.
“Well, they involve possibly interstate terroristic communications if they involve any threats of violence,” said Tom Heffelfinger, former U.S. attorney for Minnesota. “And that’s where the mention of guns is involved, for example, and the possible use of a bomb which is a weapon of mass destruction.”
In the email, the author said, in part, “I have made 15 bombs and I also have an AR-15 and Glock 18 that I have illegally acquired … when I return I will be planting bombs and around a certain city council member’s home.”
Heffelfinger said even if the author of the message does not have any bombs, or guns, the person has already violated federal law with the threats of violence against more than a dozen elected officials and was done in a very detailed manner.
“Even if it is only a threat to use a bomb, it carries very high penalties upon conviction and this, of course, would make this a very high priority for the federal government,” said Heffelfinger.
Former Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson said she did not see anything this troubling in her 20 years on the City Council. She added the more threatening and vitriolic discourse becomes, it discourages good, qualified people from seeking public office as an elected or appointed official.
“When you talk about people’s homes, it isn’t just you, it’s your family, too,” Johnson said. “And, you know, these people have been threatened and they’ve had people protesting at their homes and causing property damage sometimes and this email is just more of this notion to challenge someone in their own home.”