CNN had a downright freaky story this morning, with a man from Tijuana arrested for vowing to “behead” freshman congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).
Aniruddha Sherbow was arrested by officers working in conjunction with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Marshals Service, the D.C. District Attorney’s office, and the San Diego and Honolulu divisions of the FBI. Sherbow allegedly sent an email about a month ago with the subject line “Cutting Off Tulsi Gabbard’s Head.” CNN quotes part of the message: “I, Aniruddha Sherbow, with the Divine as my witness, do hereby solemnly vow to find Tulsi Gabbard, wheresover she may be, and to sever her head from her body.”
His father was partially responsible for turning him in, with the court affidavit declaring that the email was identified as Sherbow’s because his father had received a copy, and indicated his son was the origin. The FBI had felt the threat was a credible one.
Sherbow, a former resident of Hawaii, will be turned over to the FBI in San Diego, where he will face charges of transmitting threats in interstate commerce. He may eventually be transferred to Washington, D.C. to stand trial in September.
The AP, talking to Gabbard spokeswoman Heather Fluit, quoted her as “grateful for the work of the U.S. Capitol Police, FBI, and all law enforcement officers involved in this investigation.”
Gabbard, speaking with the Honolulu Star Advertiser a couple years ago, gave some indicators that stalkeresque behavior was taking place: “[He was] calling me numerous times, at strange hours [accompanied by messages of an] extremely inappropriate, profane, vulgar, sexual nature… basically, taking it as far as he could go.”
Tulsi Gabbard is a veteran of the U.S. armed forces and the 2003 Iraq War conflict in which she served two tours of duty with the 29th Brigade. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for her actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and entered the political scene in 2012 when she won an election to represent Hawaii’s 2nd District in Congress.