A 27-year-old man from Washington state was arrested and charged with two counts of making interstate threats, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.
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The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington said Chase Bliss Colasurdo, of Kent, threatened President Donald Trump's family members, threatened to bomb synagogues and threatened media figures in Southern California.
Colasurdo made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court on Thursday.
The office said that in March 2019, a member of the public reported to the FBI concerns about Colasurdo’s social media posts, in which he threatened to execute members of Trump’s family.
"Additionally, Colasurdo sent messages to five different media organizations that he was going to execute the family member. Colasurdo posted a photo on Instagram showing a hand with a firearm pointed at the photo of a Trump family member," a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Officials said when Colasurdo was initially contacted by law enforcement in March, he claimed his social media accounts had been hacked.
After explaining that he was not responsible for the posts, officials said Colasurdo continued to make threatening comments – particularly toward members of the Jewish community.
"In one post he wrote it was time to start 'bombing synagogues,'" the news release said.
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As members of law enforcement continued to track Colasurdo’s online activity, they said it became clear he was purchasing items related to firearms such as a holster, bulletproof vest and ammunition.
"Colasurdo attempted to purchase a firearm, but was denied," the release said.
Those found guilty of making interstate threats can be punished by up to five years in prison and three years of supervised release.
Colasurdo is scheduled to be back in court on Monday.