A Massachusetts man was arrested on Thursday for allegedly using Twitter to solicit the murder of ICE agents.
Brandon James Ziobrowski is charged with using interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person, US Attorney Andrew Lelling said. Lelling said Ziobrowski, 33, tweeted “increasingly threatening and violent” messages on the social media platform.
Ziobrowski wrote on Twitter July 2: “I am broke but I will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ice agent. @me seriously who else can pledge get in on this let’s make it work,” according to an indictment unsealed Thursday,
Ziobrowski had more than 400 Twitter followers, according to the indictment. Twitter has since removed the tweet threatening ICE agents and suspended Ziobrowski’s account, Lelling said during a news conference.
According to the indictment, Ziobrowski also wrote on Twitter that he wanted to “slit” Arizona Sen. John McCain’s throat – and said guns should be used to shoot only the police.
‘Rising tide’ of threats
“Under the guise of political debate, we are facing a rising tide of public threats and invitations to violence that undermine a democratic society and the rule of law,” Lelling said. Ziobrowski, who is from Cambridge, Massachusetts, was taken into custody in New York, Lelling said.
He was released on conditions, including a $50,000 unsecured bond, following an initial appearance in federal court in Brooklyn. It is not clear if he has retained a lawyer.
Lelling said his office plans to aggressively prosecute anyone who incites violence against law enforcement officers.”There’s a difference between public debate and intentionally putting others in fear of their lives,” he said.
Lelling said Ziobrowski does not appear to have a criminal background.