- Text smaller
- Text bigger
Police in Fort Collins, Colo., are warning local churches to report any suspicious behavior after a self-proclaimed “Islamist jihadist” threatened Mormons and Catholics “would be destroyed” in the next two weeks.
According to the Coloradoan, police released a memo describing an unnamed white man in his early 30s who was stopped for attempting to shoot a video while driving. Wearing a T-shirt wrapped around his head and a bandana and sunglasses over his face, the man reportedly claimed he was the Archangel Michael and told police everyone would know who he was in the next two weeks, but didn’t elaborate or make threats specific enough to warrant arrest.
The man is also reportedly linked to a white Honda coupe spray-painted with “F— DHS” (Department of Homeland Security) on the trunk, “Rev 14-7” on its side and “YHVH” (the Hebrew name for God) on the back bumper and hood.
The verse on the vehicle, Revelation 14:7, reads, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
At this point, however, Fort Collins police have told the public there is no evidence of immediate danger. Sgt. Paul Wood further told the Coloradoan he doesn’t believe the man has a criminal background nor is wanted for any crimes, which is why police haven’t released his name.
“(His behavior is) way out of line for what we consider terrorism,” said Wood, who is also a liaison to the Colorado Information Analysis Center, established after 9/11 as a way to coordinate terrorism prevention. “Right now, we don’t feel there’s any danger to the public.”
Still, Wood said, “With recent and not-recent events, we can’t take any [threats] for granted.”
Rev. Steven Voss, of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fort Collins, told the Coloradoan he’s heard from other religious leaders the man is “non-violent,” but that he’s made harassing and derogatory comments outside churches, notably in Utah.
When he first read the Fort Collins Police Services memo, Voss said, its words of caution made his “blood run cold.” He also read the bulletin during Mass on Saturday and reported an “audible gasp” from those seated in the pews.
To reassure the congregation, Voss invited a police officer to stand watch during weekend services.
Fort Collins police have established a phone number – (970) 221-6540 – urging religious organizations to report any suspicious activity.