A Utah man was charged Monday with threatening to harm a Palestinian rights group in Washington. The case, which was unveiled on Monday, comes as tensions in the U.S. are rising due to the war between Israel and Hamas.
Kevin Brent Buchanan of Tooele in Utah called the group unidentified at least five time in three days, leaving profanity-laced message such as “You are the enemy,” “you are being tracked,” and “dead man walking”, prosecutors wrote in court papers.
The organization reported these messages with the assistance of another antidiscrimination group. FBI Agents traced the number to Tooele located approximately 34 miles west from Salt Lake City and connected him with the phone using purchase records, according to prosecutors. Buchanan’s attorney was not listed immediately. The message left on a number that was associated with Buchanan to get a comment wasn’t immediately returned.
The threats started on Oct. 31 and continued until Nov. 2, just two days before a planned public demonstration. Buchanan has been charged for making an interstate threats, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
Since the beginning of the war, when Hamas launched an attack in early October, threats against Jewish, Muslim and Arab American communities have increased. FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress on October 31 that the FBI is becoming increasingly concerned with attacks by individuals and small groups.