Man charged with online threat to lynch Muslim candidate

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A man has been charged in North Carolina with posting an anonymous threat on social media to lynch a Muslim-American candidate for a state Senate seat in Virginia.

Federal court records show a warrant for Joseph Cecil Vandevere’s arrest was issued after his June 20 indictment.

The indictment identifies the victim only by the initials “Q.R.,” but Virginia state Senate candidate Qasim Rashid posted a screenshot of the threatening tweet in March 2018 and flagged it for Twitter. Rashid also says he reported the threat to the FBI.

Rashid, an attorney who won a Democratic primary last month, says he is pleased that law enforcement officials are treating the tweet as an act of “extremism.”

Online court records don’t list an attorney for Vandevere, whose Twitter account was called “DaDUTCHMAN5.”

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