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19-Year-Old Arrested for Making Anti-Semitic Threats on Instagram
(CNN) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) apprehended a 19-year-old individual from Pickford, Michigan on Friday for allegedly posting anti-Semitic threats on Instagram.
Seann Pietila has been charged with “transmitting a communication containing a threat to harm another,” as announced by US Attorney Mark Totten in a news release on Friday.
“In the Western District of Michigan, we will not tolerate any form of anti-Semitic threats or violence against our Jewish communities, or any other group,” stated Totten.
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According to a probable cause affidavit, Pietila engaged in conversations with another Instagram user discussing plans for a mass casualty event or murder. However, Pietila claimed that he had no intention of carrying out the discussed acts, as stated in the affidavit.
During the investigation, authorities discovered the name of an East Lansing synagogue, a specific date, and a list of weapons, including bombs, Molotov cocktails, and pistols, in the notes app on Pietila’s phone.
Upon searching Pietila’s residence, law enforcement found various items, such as ammunition, magazines, a shotgun, a rifle, several knives, and a Nazi flag, according to Totten.
Beth Lacosse, Pietila’s appointed public defender, declined to comment on the case.
Pietila made his initial court appearance on Friday, and his detention hearing is scheduled for June 22, as per court documents.
CNN’s Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.