Man who threatened to blow up Minneapolis mosque pleads guilty

The U.S. Attorney for Minnesota described the man's actions as "simply un-American."
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The man who sent a letter to a Minnesota Islamic center threatening to "blow up your building with all you immigrants in it" has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime.

Daniel George Fisher, 57, said he had become "increasingly angry with Muslims since 9/11" after FBI linked him to an anonymous handwritten letter sent to the Tawfiq Islamic Center on Lyndale Avenue North, Minneapolis, on Sept. 30, 2015.

He sent the letter because he was angry about the center's plans to relocate to Minnehaha Avenue.

According to the guilty plea announced by U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger on Wednesday, the letter also included "profanities, racial and ethnic slurs, and other derogatory comments about the religious and cultural practices" of the center.

U.S. Attorney Luger described Fisher's threat as "simply un-American."

"It is a bedrock principle of our country, enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution, that all people are free to practice their religion of choice," he said. "Tens of thousands of law-abiding Muslims do so in Minnesota. The U.S. Attorney's Office and FBI will not allow any resident of our state to have that most basic freedom jeopardized by the threat of violence."

He has pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

The Star Tribune reports the letter was traced to Fisher through fingerprints found on the paper.

There have been a spate of threats and vandalism to mosques in recent years in Minnesota, with recent incidents seeing centers in Minneapolis, Mankato and St. Cloud targeted.

According to PEW Research Center there are about 3.3 million Muslims living in the U.S., a number that is likely to double by 2050.

According to a recent PEW Research study, Muslims are one of the most negatively viewed religious groups in the U.S.

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