CRIME

Suspect in anti-Trump Twitter threat said mother's death on 9/11 changed him

Dominic Puopolo.

Dominic Puopolo.  (Miami-Dade Corrections)

The man accused of posting a Twitter threat to kill President-elect Donald Trump had released a string of religious-themed videos online, years after the death of his mother on 9/11.

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Dominic Puopolo, 51, reportedly wrote that his mother's death at the hands of terrorists spurred him to protect his country. The family knew Hillary Clinton through work at the AIDS Action Committee, American Cancer Society and American Red Cross, and Clinton -- then a U.S. senator -- gave a eulogy at his mother's funeral, the Miami Herald reported.

More than a decade later, police in Florida said Puopolo told them he was homeless, and his attorney said the man was mentally ill.

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In the video, Puopolo appeared to state that he would "be at the review/inauguration and I will kill President Trump, President-elect Trump" while in Washington. "What are you going to do about it, Secret Service?"

He admitted to officers later that he posted the video, and they arrested him at a Subway restaurant in Miami Beach, according to a police report.

Several other videos with religious themes reportedly appeared under his Twitter handle.

He said his mother, Sonia Morales Puopolo, was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11 and sat near hijacker Mohamed Atta. The plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

"The tremendous pain I feel daily varies, but there is never a full day that passes by that I have relief from the losses of that horrible day in September 2001," he wrote in a 2005 essay for Dateline NBC.

His defense attorney told a judge Wednesday that Puopolo also went by the name Jesus Christ.

Jail records showed he was being held without bail on state charges of threatening harm against a public servant.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.