Arizona man charged with threatening to execute rabbi and other Jews
Nov 7, 2023, 5:00 PM
(Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images)
(CNN) -– A 50-year-old man was arrested and is facing a federal charge after being accused of sending an email to the rabbi of an in Arizona synagogue, threatening to “execute” the rabbi and other Jewish people.
Jeffrey Mindock is charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce after he allegedly sent the email to the rabbi in Scottsdale on November 3.
“I have come to the realization that YOU people are to blame for everything evil in this world,” Mindock said in the email, according to a probable cause statement filed in federal court.
After claiming that Jews ran the court system, Mindock told the rabbi to convince a judge in Utah to drop charges filed against him in a district court case in that state, prosecutors say. The details of the Utah case against Mindock are unclear.
“If you do not use your influence to right this wrong, I will execute you and every other JEW I can find tonight at midnight of your Sabbath,” the email stated.
“We have no tolerance for those who send threatening communications to Jewish faith leaders or to any other people in America,” US Attorney Gary Restaino said in a statement.
“We will continue to exercise our prosecutorial discretion and deploy our resources to charge threats cases here in Arizona.”
Mindock emailed other threats, including one threat to “hang” a judge, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in a news release.
Mindock was assigned a public defender during an initial court appearance Monday and is being held without bond, according to court records. CNN has reached out to Mindock’s attorney for comment.
Reports of rising antisemitism
Mindock’s arrest came amid reports of a surge in antisemitic incidents across the country. FBI Director Christopher Wray said last week that antisemitism in the US is reaching “historic levels,” citing hate crimes and terrorist threats.
In one incident, suspicious mail was delivered to four Seattle Jewish centers in the last several days, prompting a hazmat response at one synagogue Monday night, CNN affiliate KIRO reported.
In Syosset, New York, antisemitic symbols were written on a whiteboard at Harry B. Thompson Middle School and a racial slur was written on a desk at Syosset High School, CNN affiliate News 12 Long Island reported. About 12 miles away, in the Commack School District, a swastika was found drawn in a high school bathroom, according to News 12.
Last week, a Cornell University student was arrested after posting online threats to kill members of the university’s Jewish community.
The intense protests and threats on college campuses in particular have prompted the Biden administration to engage with campus officials to combat antisemetic incidents.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Monday that the department’s Office of Civil Rights has received eight or nine complaints of antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents on school campuses in the last month. He noted that schools have a legal obligation to address acts of discrimination, and those who don’t could lose federal funding.
In the meantime, officials say they are closely monitoring threats.
“We’re working very closely at a federal level with state and local authorities to be able to better identify threats to the Jewish community and disrupt them,” National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said Monday.