A California man was arrested by the FBI on Thursday after he allegedly threatened to kill Boston Globe employees over their editorial campaign in support of a free press.
The 68-year-old suspect is accused of calling the Globe newsroom several times and threatening to shoot employees in the head and kill “every” employee, calling them the “enemy of the people,” a phrase President Trump has used to describe the press.
An FBI SWAT team arrested the man at his home in Encino, Calif., on Thursday. He owned several firearms, one of which was purchased recently, the FBI said. He is charged with the felony of making threatening communications in interstate commerce.
Prosecutors said the man’s threats began immediately after the Globe’s August 10 announcement of a coordinated, nationwide editorial campaign to push back on the president’s criticisms of the media. On August 16, the day the editorials were published, the man allegedly called the newsroom and “threatened to shoot Globe employees in the head ‘later today, at 4 o’clock.’”
“Why don’t you call Mueller, maybe he can help you out, buddy,” the man said, referring to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in one of the 14 profanity-laced calls he made to the Globe, according to the FBI.
“We are grateful to the F.B.I., the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Boston Police, and local authorities in California for the work they did in protecting the Globe while threats were coming in, for investigating the source, and for making this arrest. We couldn’t have asked for a stronger response,” a spokesperson for the Globe said in a statement. “While it was unsettling for many of our staffers to be threatened in such a way, nobody — really, nobody — let it get in the way of the important work of this institution.”
The man reportedly vowed to keep targeting the Globe until it stops “attacking the president, the duly elected president of the United States, in the continuation of your treasonous and seditious acts.” He will appear on Thursday in Los Angeles federal court and later in U.S. District Court in Boston. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.