Man charged with threatening a Palestinian rights group amid Israel-Gaza war tension

Man charged with threatening a Palestinian rights group amid Israel-Gaza war tension
2 min read
20 November, 2023
A man has been charged with threatening a Palestinian rights group in the US.
Tensions have flared between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters as Israel's war on Gaza rages on [Getty]

A Utah man has been charged with threatening a Palestinian rights organization in Washington in a case that was unsealed Monday as tensions rise in the US due to Israel's devastating war on Gaza.

Kevin Brent Buchanan, 62, of Tooele, Utah, called the unidentified group at least five times in three days and left profanity-laced messages such as “You're the enemy,” “you’re being tracked” and “dead person walking," prosecutors wrote in court documents.

The organization reported the messages with the help of another anti-discrimination group. FBI agents tracked the phone number to Tooele, located about 34 miles or 55 kilometers west of Salt Lake City, and linked him to the phone through purchase records, prosecutors said. No attorney was immediately listed for Buchanan. A message seeking comment left at a phone number associated with him was not immediately returned.

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The threats began October 31 and continued through November 2, two days before the group had a public demonstration planned. Buchanan was charged with making an interstate threat, which is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab American communities in the US. have increased since the war began with an attack by Hamas in early October. FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress on Oct. 31 that law enforcement is increasingly concerned about the potential of attacks by individuals or small groups.