On Thursday, Democratic Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed she was one of several elected Jewish officials targeted by a heavily armed fascist terrorist as part of a plot to kill “anyone that is jewish (sic) in the Michigan [government].”
“The FBI has confirmed I was a target of the heavily armed defendant in this matter,” Nessel wrote on March 2. “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.”
The man accused of threatening to kill Nessel, and others, is Jack Eugene Carpenter III, 41, from Tipton, Michigan. On Friday, Carpenter was ordered to remain in detention at the Livingston County Jail in Howell, on one charge of transmitting an interstate threat, which carries with it a maximum five-year prison sentence.
In a court hearing on Wednesday, prosecutor Hank Moon alleged that when FBI and local police arrested Carpenter they found “approximately a half dozen firearms and ammunition,” in his vehicle. Michigan police have confirmed that Carpenter had three 9mm pistols registered to him and that he had recently come under investigation after a girlfriend alleged that Carpenter had stolen a gun from her.
In their affidavit, the FBI claimed they first became aware of Carpenter’s threats after a tip was forwarded to their office on February 18. The tip included screenshots from a Twitter account allegedly linked to Carpenter.
The screenshots showed that on February 17, @tempered_reason tweeted out that he was “heading back to Michigan” to “carry out the punishment of death to anyone” that is Jewish. The account, which the affidavit says Carpenter’s mother confirmed is his, tweeted out a Google document titled “Declaration of Sovereignty.”
In the language of the far right “sovereign citizen” movement, Carpenter declared he was forming a new state on his property, located in Tipton, and that he was the “King of Israel.”
In the fascist manifesto Carpenter listed multiple targets, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, who is Jewish. The document is filled with deranged antisemitic and anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.
“There are rats in that house, and I suggest that Jewry clean it,” Carpenter allegedly wrote in his manifesto. “They’ve been there long enough playing on the heart strings of mankind to manipulate them into mental and physical slavery.”
In the FBI affidavit the government alleges that on February 18 Carpenter’s mother told police that he had reached out to her for some money so he could travel to Michigan. Based on a geofence warrant obtained from AT&T, FBI discovered that Carpenter was in Ellis County, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth and that the violent Twitter threats had originated from a phone belonging to Carpenter.
The affidavit notes that Carpenter’s mother confirmed that @tempered_reason was her son’s Twitter account and that he had become angry with her on the morning of February 18 after she refused to loan him money so he could travel to Michigan.
The morning of February 18, @tempered_reason tweeted, “I’ll be coming back to Michigan, still driving with expired plates. You may want to let everyone know, and Wayne County sheriff as well, any attempt to subdue me will be met with deadly force in self-defense.”
The affidavit notes that Carpenter’s mother confirmed to police that her son had “three handguns, a 12 gauge shotgun, and two hunting rifles, one of which is an M1A, a military style weapon.”
This is at least the second time in the last three years that Nessel and other Michigan elected officials have been targeted for assassination by armed fascists. In October 2020, in a prelude to the January 6 coup, over a dozen far-right militia members were arrested on charges of plotting to kidnap and/or kill Governor Whitmer prior to the election. So far, seven people have been convicted on state or federal charges related to the plot.
Like the fascists who mobilized in 2020, it appears the defendant in this case was incited to violence based on his opposition to limited COVID-19 mitigation measures and vaccine requirements. On February 17, Carpenter warned Jewish public officials on Twitter that if they held “public office on my land” they were “subject to immediate punishment for their participation in an unlawful war of aggression using a biological weapon against me.”
It appears that a vaccine mandate implemented by Carpenter's former employer, the University of Michigan, set him off. A spokesperson for the university told the Jewish Telegraph Agency on Wednesday that Carpenter had been employed as a systems administrator in the computing department for 10 years but was fired in 2021.
While the university refused to confirm the reason for his termination, according to the @tempered_reason Twitter account, which is still active as of this writing, Carpenter was enraged over having to take a COVID-19 vaccine.
“I was fired from the university of Michigan... for refusing to take experimental medication... not licensed for preventing sars-cov-2.”
In an interview with CNN on Friday, Democratic Michigan State Representative Samantha Steckloff recalled that the FBI first called her and two other Jewish Michigan lawmakers a week ago to warn that they were going to arrest Carpenter based on the targeted threats they had received.
Commenting on the surge of anti-Semitism in the United States, Steckloff observed that since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, and the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, attacks against her and other Jewish elected officials had risen. Steckloff noted that since “Kanye West said he was going to go defcon 3 on the Jews,” it has increased even more.
Through November 2022 in Michigan, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported 220 incidents of “white supremacist” propaganda being distributed, which is 70 more than all of 2021, ADL Michigan Regional Director Carolyn Normandin told the Detroit News on Friday.
Normandin told the paper that in 2021 the ADL recorded 112 anti-Semitic incidents, more than in any other previous year. She added that it is possible that 2022 figures, which are still be compiled, could surpass 2021.
The arrest of Carpenter is just the latest incident that is part of a significant surge of anti-Semitic and fascistic agitation and violence in the United States. The rise of these incidents is directly linked to the growth of fascistic elements and tendencies within the ruling class as a whole, and the Republican Party specifically.
In Los Angeles, California last month, failed dental student Jaime Tran, 28, was arrested on attempted murder charges after he shot and injured two Jewish men as they left their synagogues. A criminal affidavit noted that Tran had a “history of antisemitic and threatening conduct” including emailing a former Jewish classmate that “Someone is going to kill you, Jew,” and “I want you dead, Jew.” Tran also sent an email with a flyer attached which blamed Jews for the COVID-19 pandemic.
This past Tuesday, former Ohio National Guard member Thomas Develin, 25, was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to making and selling “ghost guns” and for “making terroristic threats.”
Develin was arrested in April 2022, after it was discovered he made threats on the online messaging app Discord threatening to shoot up the Columbus Torah Academy, a Jewish K-12 school, where he was employed as an armed security guard.
“I’m at a Jewish school and about to make it everyone’s problem,” Develin wrote, adding, “The playground is about to turn into a self-defense situation.”
Court documents revealed that Develin shared numerous violent threats targeting Jewish people, African-Americans, and women inside a private Discord chat group that included “other National Guard soldiers.”
“I’m getting $30 an hour for executive protection,” he allegedly wrote to the group on September 27, 2021. “But it’s at a Jewish synagogue. Having an inner debate that if an active shooter comes in I might just join him.”
In a separate Snapchat group with his fellow fascistic soldiers, on November 21, 2021, Develin shared a photo of himself lovingly sniffing an AK-47 assault rifle with the caption, “This one smells like dead Jews.” That same day Develin made another video titled “Jewish Women.” In the video, court documents state Develin is shown pointing a gun “in the direction of unknown individuals.”
Police became aware of the Discord and Snapchat threats after one of the National Guard soldiers, who was in the same Discord chat as Develin, provided images to police following the suicide of another Ohio National Guard soldier last year who was also part of the group.
Prior to his arrest, Develin was employed by Sahara Global Security, which provides private security services to several Jewish schools and synagogues. In a statement sent to Law&Crime.com last summer following Develin’s arrest, Sahara Global wrote they were “surprised and appalled” to find out that Develin was a fascist and anti-Semite.
Sahara Global noted that in addition to passing “all background checks, to include fingerprinting, drug testing, personality exams, and an extensive interview,” Develin, had, “a SECRET security clearance through the US military.”
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