A Las Vegas man was federally charged with allegedly threatening to kill one of Nevada’s senators after leaving a number of hate-filled voicemails at the official’s office, showcasing the disturbing rise in antisemitism since the onset of the Israel-Hamas war.
John Anthony Miller, 43, called Sen Rosen “vermin” and “subhuman” in one voicemail, and in another, said, “we’re going to finish what Hitler started,” according to the complaint. In yet another, he threatened: “We’re gonna exterminate you.”
The calls and voicemails were made from 11 October through 19 October, meaning the calls started coming in days after Hamas’ 7 October attack.
On 18 October, the complaint states Mr Miller arrived at the Lloyd D George Courthouse in Las Vegas and stated that he was looking for Sen Rosen. After reportedly refusing to comply with security’s requests, he was refused entry, prompting him to become “agitated” and start yelling profanities, including about Israelis.
Less than a week later, on 24 October, he is accused of leaving another voicemail — from an unidentified number — in which he told Sen Rosen that her entire family was “in danger.”
Two days later, he was arrested, the Justice Department release stated, and was charged with one count of threatening a federal official. He is due in court for a preliminary hearing on 13 November.
Speaking to NBC News, Sen Rosen discussed how she felt following Mr Miller’s arrest: “You know, I’m feeling the same as Jews are feeling all around the world, under attack and under threat. Now, I have full confidence in our Department of Justice and law enforcement to work on this case. But frankly, students across the country, K through 12, our college campuses, look at the protests around the world — Jews are feeling under attack.”
The threats against the senator are among a series of antisemitic incidents that have rocked the US following the war’s outbreak. The Anti-Defamation League documented 312 antisemitic incidents between 7 October through 23 October; 190 of those incidents “were directly linked to the war.” During the same time frame last year, ADL recorded 64 incidents, four of which were Israel-related.
FBI Director Christopher Wray remarked on the alarming rise in antisemitic comments. “This is a threat that is reaching, in some way, sort of historic levels,” he said during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
Talking about Jewish Americans, the FBI director said “our statistics would indicate that for a group that represents only about 2.4% of the American public, they account for something like 60% of all religious-based hate crimes.”