Minnesota man sentenced to 1 year in prison for threat letter to Islamic Center

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Daniel George Fisher, 57, of Minneapolis, Minnesota was sentenced in the District of Minnesota to 12 months in prison and three years of supervised release for mailing a letter in which he threatened to blow up an Islamic Center.

On Nov. 30, 2016, Fisher pleaded guilty to violating the free exercise of religious beliefs.  According to his guilty plea, in September 2015, Fisher wrote and mailed an anonymous letter to the Tawfiq Islamic Center (TIC), located in Minneapolis, and threatened to “blow up your building with all you immigrants in it.”  The letter also included slurs and disparaging statements, evincing the Defendant’s strong anti-Muslim animus.

Fisher told investigators that he had been increasingly angry with Muslims since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and DC.  Fisher admitted that he sent the letter to scare and intimidate the TIC’s members so they would stop building the Center in his former neighborhood, according to the Justice Department.

“The free exercise of one’s religious beliefs is a fundamental tenet of our Democracy,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler, in a statement.  “This sentence sends a message that anyone who threatens others with violence because of religious intolerance will face significant consequences.”

“The sentence handed down today committing the defendant to federal prison reflects the severity of his appalling hate crime,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard T. Thornton of the FBI’s Minneapolis Division, in a statement. “The FBI will continue to prioritize, investigate, and bring to justice those who commit federal hate crimes and other civil rights violations.”