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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Seminole Man Arrested For Making Telephonic Threat To Firebomb Islamic Center Of Pinellas County

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the arrest and issuance of a criminal complaint charging Martin Alan Schnitzler (43, Seminole) with making a telephonic threat to kill, injure, or intimidate using fire or an explosive.  If convicted, Schnitzler faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

According to court documents, during the evening of November 13, 2015, Schnitzler left a voicemail message at the telephone number for the Islamic Center of Pinellas County, which is located in Pinellas Park.  During that voicemail, Schnitzler said he was calling in reference to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and stated, among other things, that he was going to go to the Islamic Center and “firebomb you and shoot whoever is there.” Agents with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Schnitzler earlier today.

A criminal complaint is merely a charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.  It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel George.

Updated November 17, 2015