America

Man Charged In Threats Against NPR Hosts

A 38-year-old Maine man is in custody after being indicted on charges of threatening to harm NPR hosts Melissa Block and Guy Raz.

John Crosby also faces a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.

As The Smoking Gun, which broke the story, reports:

"According to an affidavit sworn by FBI Agent Nathan Jacobs, Crosby sent more than 20 bizarre, and often threatening, messages to NPR via a 'Contact Us' form on the organization's web site."

In two of the messages he allegedly threatened to kill Block and Raz.

Smoking Gun adds that in January:

"FBI agents traced many of the NPR threats to IP addresses associated with the University of Southern Maine. Records maintained by the school indicated that the computer used in late-January to send 12 of the communications to NPR 'was registered on USM's network' by Crosby.

"After the FBI arrested Crosby and seized his laptop, Agent Christopher Peavey asked him 'if he knew why we were there,' [FBI agent Nathan] Jacobs reported. Crosby responded, 'I have been trying to get your attention for a while.' The suspect subsequently asked another agent 'whether they had read all of the e-mails he had been sending,' Jacobs noted."

NPR's interim CEO, Joyce Slocum, just sent a message to staffers about this. It reads, in part:

"As you may have seen in the media today, earlier this year, NPR and hosts Melissa Block and Guy Raz received a number of threats via e-mail. We took these threats seriously, escalated our security measures, and reported the threats to the proper authorities. I have been in direct communication with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office in this matter. This led to an investigation and resulted in charges filed in federal district court in Maine against John Crosby, who is currently being held in jail without bond on charges.

"Our top concern is the safety of our staff and visitors. Given the sensitive nature of this situation, federal officials advised us to not draw public or staff attention to the matter. This is standard protocol in situations such as this."

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