A Michigan man has been charged with making a terrorism threat after asking on social media if anyone wanted to “hunt Palestinians” as the conflict between Israel and militant group Hamas wages on, local police said.
Carl Mintz, 41, of Farmington Hills, Michigan, was arrested at his home on October 12 after posting a threat on social media that “proposed violence against Palestinian-American residents of Dearborn,” the Dearborn Police Department (DPD) said in a statement posted Monday on Facebook.
Dearborn, a Detroit suburb, is home to the largest Muslim population per capita in the U.S.
Mintz was arraigned on October 14 on one count of making a threat of terrorism, a felony, and a misdemeanor malicious use of a telecommunications device, DPD said.
His social media post, which was discovered after someone anonymously shared it with the DPD, allegedly asked if anyone in the Detroit area wanted to “go to Dearborn & hunt Palestinians,” according to a screenshot of the post obtained by local outlet The Detroit News. While local media outlets reported that Mintz shared the threat on Facebook, DPD did not identify the platform that was used or the date the post was made.
Newsweek reached out via email on Monday to DPD for comment. It was unclear at the time of publication if Mintz had retained an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
The violence erupted in the Middle East on October 7 after Hamas, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization, led the deadliest Palestinian militant attack on Israel in history. Israel subsequently launched its heaviest-ever airstrikes on Gaza. As the death toll continues to climb, the Associated Press reported on Monday that the war has claimed more than 4,000 lives.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his country is “at war” and has cut off supplies of food, fuel, electricity and medicine into Gaza. Israel has called up 360,000 army reservists as it prepares for a likely ground offensive into the territory, which is home to 2.3 million people.
As the Israel-Palestine conflict continues, Muslim and Jewish families across the world are dealing with the fallout. An Illinois landlord is facing hate crime and murder charges after attacking his Muslim tenants by fatally stabbing a 6-year-old boy and injuring his mother because he was angered by news of the war. A teacher was stabbed to death in France after the suspect allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” while conducting the slaying. Two Jewish schools closed in London out of an abundance of caution after seeing a rise in antisemitic attacks in the United Kingdom.
Law enforcement agencies have ramped up measures over concerns of potential security threats amid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Dearborn, Police Chief Issa Shahin said that police have increased their presence at all places of worship and schools.
Dearborn Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud blasted the alleged crime, saying threats won’t be tolerated in his city.
“Threats of violence against our community will not be tolerated,” Hammoud said. “We are pleased to see that the charges filed this weekend reflect the severity of the message of hate that this individual chose to post online last week.”
Shahin said the DPD takes all threats seriously.
“Although we are currently unaware of any further credible threats, we have increased police patrols across the city and at all places of worship in the interest of the public safety and security of Dearborn’s residents, workers, and visitors,” Shahin said.
Mintz’s bond was set at $500,000 cash, and as a condition of his bond agreement, he was assigned a GPS tether device and has been banned from possessing weapons and using the internet. He is due back in court later this month.