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FBI: Threatening email to Florida Democrats a 'spoof' from a foreign government

Email warns, 'Vote for Trump, or else'
Posted at 9:23 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 23:41:52-04

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. — The threatening email listed as it’s sender, the “Proud Boys,” a right-wing group that clashed with civil rights protesters at demonstrations. But a day after the email surface, John Ratcliffe, the Director of National Intelligence said the emails made to look like they were from the Proud Boys, were concocted by an overseas adversary.

“We would like to alert the public that two foreign actors, Iran and Russia have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections,” said Ratcliffe.

That email was sent to several registered Democrats in Florida like Loxahatchee law school student Lillian Rozsa, who noticed the ominous title.

“And I thought, Wow! Yikes!” Rozsa told Contact 5. Even more chilling, she said, was the text of the message which read, “We have gained access into the entire voting infrastructure. You will vote for Trump on election day, or we will come after you.”

It may be hard to prosecute those behind the threatening emails.

“A lot of these countries are not cooperating at all, when they’re trying to do something illicit,” said WPTV’s cybersecurity expert Alan Crowetz of www.infostream.cc.

Law enforcement officials in Alachua County, which includes Gainesville, said 20 emails were reported to them, and other reports were filed in four other counties in Florida.

In Miami, the announcement from federal officials backed up the words of Florida Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Torria, who maintained his organization had nothing to do with the threatening emails.

RELATED: FBI says Iran, Russia behind election misinformation campaign

In Washington, the head of the FBI had tough talk for the adversaries behind the mailing designed to confuse and frighten voters.

“We are not going to tolerate foreign interference in our elections or any criminal activity that threatens the sanctity of your vote or undermines confidence in the outcome of the election,” said FBI director Christopher Wray.

Wray also cautioned voters to be skeptical of threatening emails close to a national election.

Anyone who receives a threatening email should report it to local law enforcement or their county’s Supervisor of Elections Office.

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