Federal law enforcement agencies on Friday released their first post-Jan. 6 report designed to help people spot potential violent extremists among family members, friends and peers.
"The lengthy 'see something, say something'-style public service announcement comes at a time when federal law enforcement has pumped out warnings of unsophisticated — but potentially lethal — attacks by lone actors that provide law enforcement with a sparse paper trail," CBS News reports. "The booklet lists 42 'indicators' that range from 'unusual goodbyes or post-death instructions" to 'surveilling potential attack targets' to 'isolating oneself from family and peers, particularly if citing violent extremist doctrine or ideology.'"
Other indicators listed in the 34-page booklet include "posing with weapons and imagery associated with violent extremism in photos or videos," and "deleting, hiding or manipulating social media as part of an effort to plan a specific act of violence," Axios reports.
"Members of the community such as relatives and peers are almost always the first to pick up on hints of violent motivations and are 'often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence,'" according to Axios.
CBS News notes that while the report is not specifically tied to the Capitol insurrection, "families and friends of defendants have played an outsized role turning in relatives after learning of their alleged involvement in the breach."
"In one such instance, prosecutors say Guy Reffitt of Texas, who was indicted on multiple counts including obstructing the official proceeding of counting electoral college votes, threatened his children after they learned of his alleged involvement in the attack," the network reports. "Reffitt allegedly told his son and daughter following January 6, 'If you turn me in, you're a traitor and you know what happens to traitors...traitors get shot.'"
Read the full booklet here.
A federal judge has sentenced a California man to jail for sending dozens of racist death threats to anti-Trump politicians.
In a rare move, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg rejected the Department of Justice's recommendation of probation, and sentenced 71-year-old Michael Anthony Gallagher to four months behind bars.
Gallagher "spent some four years sending dozens of racist death threats on personalized, handmade postcards," the Mercury News reported Friday.
He pleaded guilty in August to mailing a threatening postcard, signed "KKK," to California Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who is Black.
Gallagher's threat to Waters was among at least 75 he sent to politicians across the country who were critical of former president Donald Trump.
“We’re going to hang your head off the Washington Monument, you piece of Communist (expletive)," Gallagher once wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He also threatened to shoot Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Nevertheless, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Tartakovsky recommended a term of one year of probation.
“This is based on a number of factors, beginning with Mr. Gallagher’s prompt admission of guilt and genuine contrition, which includes his statement to an agent after the search of his house that he had been ‘scared straight,’" Tartakovsky wrote. “Other factors include his age, his lack of a prior record, the absence of evidence that he had any intent actually to carry out any of his threats, his insignificant likelihood of re-offending, and the sufficiency of the conviction itself to provide general and specific deterrence.”
In an apology letter, Gallagher wrote: “Throughout the last presidency, I was impacted by the political polarization of our country. That’s when I started on the reproachable path of mailing threatening postcards, for which I am painfully sorry and ashamed. I think I believed I was sending a message about my political views. But now I realize that these views and my conduct were terribly misguided and shameful.”
Gallagher is scheduled to report to jail in March after being sentenced in December. A transcript from his sentencing hearing wasn't available, the newspaper reported.
On Friday, the Riverfront Times reported that a Missouri man impersonated a police officer to try to "casually" release a friend from prison.
"There's acting like you belong, and then there's the act put on by Chad Michael Gosney, who is accused of trying to impersonate his way into obtaining an inmate's early release from the Jefferson County jail on Thursday," reported Danny Wicentowski. "Gosney, who is not a police officer, showed up the jail in Hilsboro and 'claimed to be an officer picking up an inmate,' the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said in a statement posted to Facebook. 'We let him in,' the statement continued, 'closed the door, and arrested him.'"
According to the report, Gosney was intoxicated while attempting to pull off his prison break.
"Gosney, now in jail on a $10,000 bond, faces a single charge of false impersonation, a misdemeanor," said the report. "However, while Gosney's plan involved freeing a specific inmate, the sheriff's office believes that Gosney acted on his own, writing in its Facebook post, 'We do not believe the inmate he was asking for was aware of the attempt to get him out.'"
This comes two weeks after an incident in Crawford County, Missouri in which an inmate escaped by pretending to be scheduled for release.