DETROIT — A man has been charged with using Twitter to threaten to kill Michigan state government officials who are Jewish.
No names were listed in a criminal complaint unsealed against Jack Carpenter III of Tipton, Michigan. But Attorney General Dana Nessel said Thursday on Twitter that she was a target.
The FBI said Carpenter was in Texas when he tweeted on Feb. 17 that he was returning to Michigan "to carry out the punishment of death to anyone" who is Jewish in Michigan government "if they don't leave, or confess, and now that kind of problem."
"Because I can Legally do that, right?" he wrote.
Carpenter also declared a new country — "New Israel" — around his home, according to the criminal complaint.
"The FBI has confirmed I was a target of the heavily armed defendant in this matter," Nessel wrote on Twitter Thursday. "It is my sincere hope that the federal authorities take this offense just as seriously as my Hate Crimes & Domestic Terrorism Unit takes plots to murder elected officials."
Carpenter was arrested in Texas on Feb. 21. He appeared in federal court in Detroit on Wednesday on a charge of using interstate communications to make a threat and remains in custody until a detention hearing Friday. Prosecutors want to keep him locked up while the case is pending.
"When the defendant was arrested in his vehicle, they found approximately a half dozen firearms and ammunition," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Hank Moon, who added that Carpenter might flee if released on bond.
"Without getting into too much detail, the defendant does not believe he is subject to the jurisdiction of this court," Moon told a judge.
Carpenter asked for a court-appointed lawyer but otherwise said little during the court appearance. A message seeking comment from the federal public defender office was not immediately returned Thursday.
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