Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel was targeted last month by a "heavily armed" man who threatened injury and death to Jewish members of the state government, she said Thursday morning.
Jack Eugene Carpenter III is accused of tweeting: "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," according to a criminal complaint filed Feb. 18.
"Because I can Legally do that, right?” he added, according to the FBI affidavit.
Carpenter's mother confirmed to investigators that the tweets came from him and said to her knowledge, he had "three handguns, a 12 gauge shotgun, and two hunting rifles, one of which is an MIA, military-style weapon," the complaint said.
Nessel, a Democrat, tweeted Thursday that the FBI confirmed she was one of the officials targeted by "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," she said.
A spokesperson for Nessel declined to comment further.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 was also targeted by a group of men plotting to kidnap her. Whitmer, also a Democrat, drew the hatred of far-right groups for her efforts to curb the spread of Covid.
Carpenter had also threatened violence against law enforcement in his tweets, according to the criminal complaint.
“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," he tweeted.
Because he sent the tweets from Texas, Carpenter has been charged with interstate communication of threats. It wasn't immediately clear Thursday whether he had a lawyer.
On the Twitter account linked to him in the criminal complaint, the suspect claimed last month that he was "fired" from the University of Michigan "after going through all the appeal processes for refusing to take experimental medication."
A spokesperson for the university confirmed that Carpenter worked there from 2011 to the end of 2021. His position "when his employment ended" was systems administrator intermediate in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, said the spokesperson, who declined to answer additional questions.