- Associated Press - Monday, June 16, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City man was charged Monday with sending emails threatening to kill a leader of a Muslim civil rights group.

The man, Bernhard Laufer, was to appear later Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.

According to a criminal complaint, Laufer began sending the emails last year to the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. The group identified the recipient as its national executive director, Nihad Awad.

Laufer, 56, was already facing attempted murder charges alleging he stabbed a man at a Queens mosque in 2012 while yelling, “I will kill you Muslim.” He was out on $200,000 bail when he sent an email accusing the Muslim group of framing him, warning, “CAIR will now be destroyed,” court papers say.

In an email to Awad, he wrote, “I am coming after you, you jihad bastard,” the papers say. In a third, he called himself a “mad man” who would “stop at nothing to kill you, your body guards and anybody else that is around you,” they say.

In a statement, CAIR called the case “another incident demonstrating the actual, imminent harm that can result from Islamophobia.”

The name of Laufer’s attorney wasn’t immediately available.


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