A man described as having “extreme communist, socialist, and anarchist ideologies” was just arrested this morning for putting out a hit on ICE agents via his Twitter account:
BOSTON GLOBE – A Cambridge man was arrested in Queens, N.Y., on Thursday for allegedly tweeting “a murder-for-hire solicitation” to kill Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, prosecutors said.
Brandon J. Ziobrowski is charged with one count of using interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person, part of what US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said was a “rising tide” of online threats directed at law enforcement “under the guise of political debate.”
On July 2, Ziobrowski allegedly tweeted, “I am broke but will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ICE agent,” the statement said. “@me seriously who else can pledge get in on this let’s make this work.”
Here’s a screenshot of his tweet:
He also allegedly tweeted in response to an ICE posting in March, “Thank you ICE for putting your lives on the line and hopefully dying I guess so there’s less of you?”
In addition, Ziobrowski tweeted repeatedly that he wanted to “slit” US Senator John McCain’s throat and tweeted in February, “Guns should only be legal for shooting the police like the second amendment intended,” authorities alleged.
Noting that the 33-year-old Ziobrowski had more than 400 Twitter followers, Lelling said his alleged offer to pay for the murder of an ICE agent was “a threat his Twitter followers or their followers” could have taken seriously.
Lelling also noted that Ziobrowski’s arrest comes amid the shootings in recent months of four Massachusetts police officers, two of whom were killed.
Ziobrowski’s alleged threat, Lelling said, was one that investigators “did take seriously.”
Lelling was joined at briefing at the Moakley courthouse by FBI Special Agent in Charge Harold H. Shaw, who leads the bureau’s Boston office.
Shaw said Ziobrowski was apprehended around 7:15 a.m. Thursday “without incident” in Queens. He was visiting a friend there, according to Lelling.
“It will not be tolerated,” Shaw said of criminal threats against law enforcement. “It’s an affront to the men and women who put their lives on the line each and every day.”
With the help of Department of Homeland Security cyber analysts in Washington, Shaw said, officials were able to track Ziobrowski and “disrupt his plan.”
Shaw added that in addition to Ziobrowski’s alleged threats, he also posted messages showing “extreme anti-US sentiment” and “extreme communist, socialist, and anarchist ideologies.”
I’m glad to see the feds taking these twitter threats so seriously. It could easily have been dismissed as some anonymous fool with only have 400 followers, some of which are probably fake accounts – and with such a stupid name on his Twitter account.
The way people spout off these days you never know who is really being serious about stuff like this, but it sounds like the feds have a no-tolerance policy with threats like this and that makes me very glad.
LOCK HIM UP!