A Maryland man has been jailed in Seattle after the FBI said he made a series of social media threats against Hispanics in the Miami area.
An FBI complaint in Miami said 35-year-old Eric Lin sent messages via Facebook between May and August to a Hispanic woman he knows, threatening her and her family, expressing support for Adolf Hitler and calling for the extermination of Spanish-speaking people and other ethnic groups.
Court records show Lin had an initial court hearing Monday in Seattle federal court on a charge of interstate transmission of threatening communication. Lin has not yet entered a plea.
According to Lin’s arrest warrant, his messages caused the victim to “fear for his/her life and the lives of his/her family members.” Among the messages Lin allegedly sent were an image of his face merged with that of Hitler and a declaration of a “race war.”
In one communication, he wrote “I will let you live so you can slowly watch me destroy your Entire Race, then your family will be targeted for being ‘Anti-American’ which they are.”
In another, he wrote “This is a RACE WAR and All of you will DIE! Good luck Spic Nigger Arab Jew Spainaird [sic].”
The FBI said Lin, of Clarksburg, Maryland, was arrested Friday in Seattle on the federal charges filed in Miami. He has a bail hearing next week in Seattle.
His arrest comes amid a rise in racially motivated mass shootings in the United States. Earlier this month, 21-year old Patrick Crusius killed 22 people during a shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart. He later explained that he had been targeting Mexicans. Last October, gunman Robert Gregory Bowers killed 11 people during a shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people,” he posted online before the attack, referencing both a Jewish immigration society and a far-right conspiracy theory that Jews are bringing minorities into the US in order to replace white people.