The FBI has reportedly issued a warning to New York law enforcement agencies about a man who organized a protest at a Phoenix mosque earlier this year.
A Muslim group notified the agency after it learned that Jon Ritzheimer, 32, had posted a video on Nov. 18 saying he was going to confront the Albany-based group, according to the New York Daily News. Ritzheimer reportedly goes on a profanity-laced tirade against Muslims, and President Barack Obama and says he was going to make the cross-country journey to confront the group.
Rizheimer reacted angrily to an article written in Muslims of America’s newspaper The Islamic Post. The article labels him as an “American Taliban.”
Ritzheimer previously organized an armed protest of a Phoenix mosque. He led a group of nearly 250 people who carried weapons and a drawing of the Prophet Muhammad to the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix.
The protest came about a month after a shootout outside a Prophet Muhammad cartoon-drawing contest in a Dallas suburb. Two Phoenix men showed up at the Dallas event with assault rifles and were killed by police. The men formerly worshipped at the Phoenix mosque where Friday’s protest was held.
After the protest, he told the Daily News in May he was going into hiding after receiving multiple death threats.
The FBI was in communication with him and tracked him to Scranton, Pennsylvania before Ritzheimer got into a spat with the agency and shut down all communication.
A spokeswoman for the FBI’s Albany office didn’t reveal any information to the Daily News on his whereabouts.
“The FBI vigorously investigates threats and allegations of hate crimes,” she told the newspaper. “After recently becoming aware of a video which could have been perceived as threatening against the Muslim community in Hancock, N.Y., the FBI immediately took steps to notify our federal, state and local partners.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.