NEW YORK – A New York City man was arrested Tuesday and is facing federal charges after he allegedly made death threats against people celebrating President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
Brian Maiorana, 54, of Staten Island allegedly posted threats on social media before and after the election calling for violence, made anti-Semitic threats toward Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and threatened to "blow up the FBI building for real."
"Mr. Maiorana’s online posts called for violence against our entire community – protestors, politicians, and law enforcement officers alike. His alleged threats are disturbing and far outside of acceptable norms, but they also violated federal law," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said in a statement.
Maiorana was held without bail on Tuesday after a remote hearing in federal court in Brooklyn. According to prosecutors, a firearm was found at the man's home, which violated restrictions he faced as a registered sex offender after a felony sexual assault conviction in Pennsylvania.
Maiorana’s attorney, James Darrow, said he would seek bail for his client and declined to comment further.
According to a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday, Maiorana began making the threats online in September but purchased parts for a semiautomatic handgun over the summer. In 2018, he also purchased a crossbow, combat boots and military patches, the complaint says.
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In October, Maiorana posted that "pipe bombs need to be thrown into these mobs of potentially non violent violent protesters," and, last Thursday, that "the carnage needs to come in the form of extermination of anyone that claims to be Democrat … as well as their family members," the complaint says.
In a post Sunday, Maiorana allegedly referenced "The Turner Diaries," a book written by the founder of a neo-Nazi group and called the "bible of the racist right," according the Southern Poverty Law Center. The racist work depicts a fictitious revolution against the federal government and ensuing race war and is influential to white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups, prosecutors say.
Maiorana also allegedly posted a call to action Sunday for people to kill those in the crowds that had gathered after Democrat Joe Biden was forecast to win the election.
"All right thinking people need to hit the streets while these scumbags are celebrating and start blowing them away," Maiorana's post read, according to the complaint.
While there were fears that widespread violence and unrest could break out after Election Day across the U.S., celebrations and protests have largely been peaceful.
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Maiorana's posts also referenced the repeated yet unproven claims from President Donald Trump that there was voter fraud in the election.
"Americans have a constitutional right to voice their opinions, but this Office will not tolerate violence or threats of violence used to intimidate others with whom they disagree,” Seth DuCharme, acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NYC man Brian Maiorana threatened election violence against Democrats