The man allegedly sent malicious messages via email and left voicemails threatening violent acts against Chabad rabbis.
By Donna Rachel Edmunds, World Israel News
Federal charges have been brought against a man who threatened to behead three Chabad rabbis and kill all Jews.
The defendant’s girlfriend, who pointed a gun at federal agents during his arrest, was also charged.
Amarillo man Christopher Stephen Brown, 37, and his girlfriend Rebekah Jones, 28, appeared in court Thursday to face charges, according to the U.S Prosecutor’s office.
According to the complaint, on December 2 Brown allegedly contacted Chabad Lubavitch via their website, threatening to kill members of the Bet-Din.
The message included a call for death to all Jews, and a link to Brown’s YouTube channel, Dr. M. Obadiah. Videos on the channel showed Brown, referring to himself as Madrikh Obidiah, saying the Chabad Lubavitch chairman, vice chairman, and another leader’s son must die.
Two days later, Brown contacted Chabad Lubavitch headquarters in New York, allegedly leaving two voice messages stating that Madrikh Obidiah would “tear out” the rabbis’ eyes and tongues and kill every rabbi he could find. The following day he contacted the headquarters again, allegedly threatening to blow the leaders’ heads off.
“Mr. Brown’s anti-Semitic statements were both disgusting and unlawful. The First Amendment may guarantee the right to make hateful remarks, but it does not allow for specific threats of violence against individuals.
The circumstances of the defendant’s arrest only reinforce our belief that Mr. Brown poses a serious threat to the community,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham. “We are committed to protecting all of our citizens – especially those who are often persecuted.”
FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno commented: “Mr. Brown allegedly expressed an intent to commit violent acts toward numerous entities including private citizens, law enforcement and Jewish Rabbis associated with Chabad Lubavitch Headquarters.
Threatening statements are a serious criminal activity with consequences, and the FBI and our law enforcement partners will pursue those who pose a threat to the community when those threats intend to instill fear and potentially cause physical harm.”
According to the U.S Attorney’s office, Brown resisted arrest when agents arrived at his apartment on December 8. “During the struggle, Ms. Jones locked arms with Mr. Brown and tried to pull him into the bedroom. She pointed a gun at an FBI agent, who grabbed the gun and attempted to point it in a safe direction. While wrestling with both Mr. Brown and Ms. Jones, the agent was eventually able to free the gun and fling it onto the floor,” a department spokesman said in a statement.
Brown has been charged with interstate threatening communications, while Jones faces charges of assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon. If convicted, Brown could receive up to five years in federal prison, while Jones could be facing 20 years in jail.