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Man arrested for threats to Hawaii Congresswoman

August 29, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — A man with a history of harassing and threatening Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been arrested after he allegedly sent an email to the FBI and media threatening to decapitate the first-term congresswoman.

Aniruddha Sherbow was apprehended by California police on Wednesday in Tijuana, Mexico. He was then turned over to FBI agents in San Diego where authorities said he would make his first court appearance on Thursday before being returned to Washington.

The alleged threats occurred on Aug. 1 and Aug. 3, according to the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police..

“I, Aniruddha Sherbow, with the Divine as my witness, do hereby solemnly vow to find Tulsi Gabbard, wheresoever she may be, and to sever her head from her body,” he wrote to the FBI, according to the Hawaii Reporter, which said it had also received a copy of the email from Sherbow.

The FBI would not confirm the nature of Sherbow’s threat, saying only that it was based on a “credible” threat. Sherbow will face charges of transmission of threats in interstate commerce, authorities said.

Gabbard spokeswoman Heather Fluit said she had no comment other than that Gabbard “is grateful for the work of the U.S. Capitol Police, FBI, and all law enforcement officers involved in this investigation.”

In their brief statement, authorities made no reference to Sherbow’s history with Gabbard. But in 2011, Gabbard, who was then a city councilwoman in Honolulu, sought and received a three-year injunction against Sherbow after a series of abusive telephone calls and text messages.

Gabbard told the Honolulu Star Advertiser in March 2011 that Sherbow had been “calling me numerous times, at strange hours” and sending messages that were “extremely inappropriate, profane, vulgar and sexual in nature.”

“Basically, taking it as far as he could go,” Gabbard told the newspaper.

Gabbard said then that she contacted police after Sherbow’s messages became more abusive, including one that said if she approached him he would force her to perform a sexual act.

It is not clear if Sherbow still lives in Hawaii.

Gabbard, 32, is an Iraq War veteran and was elected to Congress in 2012.

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