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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Man shot by FBI after making threats toward Biden

The suspect had “intent to kill” the US leader and New York prosecutor Alvin Bragg, officials claim

US federal agents have fatally shot a Utah man accused of making threats against President Joe Biden and other public figures, the FBI said, just hours before the commander in chief arrived in the state for an official visit.

The shooting unfolded early Wednesday morning as FBI agents attempted to serve a search and arrest warrant at the Provo, Utah home of Craig Deleeuw Robertson, who was identified in court documents obtained by several media outlets. The man was wanted on three federal charges, including making threats against the president and law enforcement, as well as interstate threats.

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Robertson had “intent to kill, at a minimum, [Manhattan District Attorney Alvin] Bragg and President Joe Biden,” the government said in its filing, adding that the suspect had made online threats toward Biden as recently as Monday.

In that internet post, Robertson allegedly said “I hear Biden is coming to Utah,” declaring that he was “cleaning the dust off the M24 sniper rifle.” He also addressed the FBI, the court documents said, stating “you still monitoring my social media? Checking so I can be sure to have a loaded gun handy in case you drop by again.”

According to two unnamed law enforcement sources reached by the Associated Press, Robertson was armed at the time of the shooting, while the charging sheet stated he owned multiple firearms.

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The FBI said it is reviewing the incident, noting that its Inspection Division would be involved in the probe. No agents were injured during the shooting.

In addition to Biden and Bragg, the suspect was alleged to have mentioned a long list of other politicians and officials online, among them Vice President Kamala Harris, US Attorney General Merrick Garland, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and New York Attorney General Letitia James. He identified himself as a “MAGA Trumper,” and posted threats against officials overseeing court cases involving the former president, the charging documents said.

Law enforcement was initially tipped off about the man last March by Donald Trump’s own social media venture, Truth Social, after Robertson allegedly made threats about Bragg on the platform. His account has since been suspended, according to AP.

Not long after Robertson’s deadly encounter with federal agents, President Biden touched down at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base for a one-day visit to Salt Lake City, around 45 miles (72km) north of Provo. Though the White House has not confirmed where Biden would stay for the trip, the Salt Lake Tribune reported stepped up security measures near a hotel in downtown Salt Lake City later on Wednesday evening.