Can nutjob hate site owners be charged with "Making a terroristic threat?"

In this thread on the hypothetical Amero coin, there’s a quote from lunatic Hal Turner’s website where he offers to commit the following act:

My question is: wouldn’t this fall under the charge of “making a terroristic threat?”

I’m always reading about authorities charging people using that term. Often it’s someone who claimed to have a bomb, but did not; who mailed white powder, that was harmless, or even people who made no verbal threat at all, like these people.

If the police/government can jail and hold people for not even issuing a threat, merely because said authorities are scared of white chalk, why can’t someone arrest this Hal Turner dipshit?

That’s a clear death threat and he mentions specific people (the owners of the site are publically known).

Why can’t we get action in a case like this? What considerations mitigate the offense, if any?


I’d submit that his threat is contingent on an impossible scenario.
It is not a genuine threat.
HE may believe it’s a threat, but no other sane person does.

It’s only “contingent” if you take your English very, very seriously and suppose that, because it’s a dependent clause, he won’t carry it out unless the clause applies.

No clause, dependent or otherwise, in fact no language whatsoever, was used by the Hash House Harriers I linked to in the OP. They were arrested despite making no written or implied threat. Surely this guy has done more.


From what I’ve read about the supreme court and free speech, for it to be a crime, it has to immediate and specific. I can say “Come the revolution, the bagpipe players will be the first against the wall”. I can’t say “Let’s all go to town right now and shoot the bagpipe players”. This issue came up many times in the prosecution of people who advocated the overthrow of the government.

But they weren’t arrested for making a terroristic threat. They were arrested for breach of the peace in the first degree, which is defined as:

Note that an article in the New Haven Register said that the police response, including testing the white powder, cost $50,000. Also, the store was closed at 5pm during the week before Labor Day, which is one of the busiest periods for the store, what with all the people buying stuff to set up their dorm rooms.

Were the purveyors of those websites with pictures of “abortion doctors” with bullseyes on them prosecuted criminally or was that just a civil case?

American Coalition of Life Activists v. Planned Parenthood of Columbia/Willamette, Inc., 547 U.S. 1111 (2006).

IANAL-standard disclaimers, yadda, yadda. When reading your OP, I noted one word ‘like’ which could change how the quoted statement is viewed.

In a broad sense, Hal Turner is expressing his hatred for Jews. In a narrower sense, he says “like the ones at”. By including that word, he hasn’t threatened the Mikkelsons, per se, but only (I presume) Jews he feels are like them. Does that mean he hates Jews who operate informative websites? Well-educated Jews? Dunno-methinks he’s a putz.

If, OTOH, he stated that he wanted to harm specifically the Mikkelsons, I’d imagine some jurisdiction might find such statement actionable. Perhaps one of our resident legal minds will pop in to expound further.

He hates all Jews. Racists aren’t that specific. He’s obviously a neo-Nazi based on some of the comments he has on his site (the Israeli airlines have no flights for September 14, and the Air Force isn’t working that day, so the Jews are obviously going to plan another 9/11!)

Your point is that an expensive offical response drives the deicsion to hold someone accountable?

I imagine if the police were to respond to this twit, said response would cost taxpayer dollars, and thus possibly incur prosecutorial wrath. My issue is, why doesn’t someone respond?

Perhaps to clarify: as I recall, there was an SDMB thread about a poster who blogged about making a vague dark comment about Hillary Clinton and a gun. Said poster was then visited by the Secret Service.

If I type threats about attacking the homeland, or “American citizens,” I’ll bet someone will look into me pronto. Or if I write about (hypothetical) pedophilia.

Why does threatening Jews get a free pass? Aren’t they part of the homeland? Aren’t they American citizens? Aren’t there Jewish children?


It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the facts that Israel is a majority-Jewish country and the 14th is a major Jewish holiday, of course.

Well, they are certainly like them. He’s using “like” in the form of “such as”.


You should eat more fruits like apples, oranges, and grapes.

I’m not suggesting you find a fruit that’s like an apple. I’m giving a list of things you should eat.