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FBI Arrests Michigan Man After Planning An Attack On East Lansing Synagogue

Michigan man
FBI Arrests Michigan Man After Planning An Attack On East Lansing Synagogue (PHOTO: WILX)

The Michigan man plans to stage a mass shooting at an East Lansing synagogue in private messages on Instagram, according to FBI investigators who arrested the man on Friday.

Michigan man

FBI Arrests Michigan Man After Planning An Attack On East Lansing Synagogue (PHOTO: KAKE)

FBI Arrests Michigan Man

Friday, a 19-year-old Michigan man identified as Seann Pietila of Pickford, expressed his plans to stage a mass shooting in private messages on Instagram, according to documents filed last week when he was indicted with communicating a danger across state lines.

On Friday, Daily News reported that Pietila was arrested after FBI officials were alerted to his communications earlier in the week and worked to confirm his real identity.

When investigators went to his home, they found multiple unsecured firearms, a red and white Nazi flag, a ghillie suit, gas masks, and military sniper/survival manuals, according to charging documents filed.

A search of the suspect’s phone revealed a message in a note app with the name of Congregation Shaarey Zedek along with a date of March 15, 2024, and a list of supplies, including guns and pipe bombs, according to the complaint.

Pietila told investigators that he did not plan to make an attack, which he said he had originally set for this year, but he claimed that he planned to kill himself.

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The Michigan Man Was Charged By The Western District of Michigan

Seann Pietila was accused by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan of transmitting a communication containing a threat to harm another.

Investigators stated that the suspect had spoken with another user on Instagram where they talked about strong views against the Jewish population, supporting neo-Nazis, and antisemitic ideologies held by previous mass shooters, according to the criminal complaint.

Brittany Stob the suspect’s mother, told ABC News in a phone call on Saturday that her son Pietila is still being held in jail pending a detention hearing next week. The mother also claimed that her son is non-violent and was not truly planning an attack.

Moreover, Stob also claimed that the guns and gear seized by the FBI all belonged to her and her husband, not her son.

However, on Thursday, the FBI said they received a report about threatening communications made online and Meta provided investigators with information related to the user name associated with the threats and found that several messages by the user, who was later identified as the suspect, making antisemitic slurs, and praising neo-Nazi ideology.
The Michigan man suspects allegedly talked about his admiration for the 2019 Christchurch mass shooting in New Zealand, according to the criminal complaint. The fifth anniversary of the New Zealand shooting was the date allegedly found on the notes app of his phone.
 The complaint stated that further investigation into the suspect’s social media accounts found other photographs and posts that included posts of Nazi imagery and other mass murderers.

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