FBI confirms Michigan attorney general was target of plot to kill Jewish state officials

Jack Carpenter III allegedly made the threats on Twitter.

ByLuke Barr ABCNews logo
Thursday, March 2, 2023
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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says she was the target of a plot to kill Jewish state officials, she tweeted Wednesday.

"The FBI has confirmed I was a target of the heavily armed defendant in this matter. 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," Nessel said in the tweet.

Court documents allege that Jack Carpenter III used the Twitter handle @TemperedReason to lodge his threats against Michigan state officials who are Jewish.

The FBI did not identify who else was the target in court documents unsealed Wednesday.

"I'm heading back to Michigan now threatening to carry out the punishment of death to anyone that is jewish in the Michigan govt if they don't leave, or confess, and now that kind of problem," Carpenter allegedly wrote on Twitter on Feb. 17. "Because I can Legally do that, right?"

U.S. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel speaks at a campaign rally, Oct. 16, 2022 in East Lansing, Michigan.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images, FILE

He also claimed that "new Israel" was located in a nine-mile radius of Tipton, Michigan, where he lived, court documents said.

The FBI said it had uncovered that Carpenter is being investigated for the theft in December 2022 of a firearm, which, according to the Justice Department, he currently had in his possession.

According to a complaint, at the time he allegedly made the threats, Carpenter was in Texas and requested money from his mother to return to Michigan but became angry that she wouldn't give it to him and she then she called police.

His mother told police, "CARPENTER has three handguns, a 12 gauge shotgun, and two hunting rifles, one of which is an MIA, military style weapon," the complaint said.

He also allegedly wrote that anyone who tried to stop him would be "met with deadly self-defense."

Carpenter is charged with making interstate threats and a lawyer for Carpenter did not respond to ABC News request for comment.

Javed Ali, the former senior director of counterterrorism at the National Security Council, told ABC News, the alleged threats "underscore the persistent threat from racially-motivated extremists in the United States."

"As the ADL and other organizations have recently noted, there remains a high level of threats from individuals with white supremacist and neo-Nazi views against Jewish communities across the United States," Ali, who is now an associate professor at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy, said. "Twitter and other online social media platforms also continue to confront challenges with removing extremist content and identifying radicalized individuals capable of taking violent action."