Man pleads guilty to threatening Minneapolis Islamic center

A Minneapolis man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal hate crime for writing and mailing a threatening letter to a local Islamic Center in 2015.

The Tawfiq Islamic Center received an anonymous, handwritten letter on Sept. 30, 2015 which threatened to “blow up your building with all your immigrants in it,” according to the United States District Attorney’s office. The letter also included profanities, racial and ethnic slurs and other derogatory comments on the religious and cultural practices of the members of the Islamic center.

In June, Fischer, 57, confessed to FBI agents he wrote and mailed the letter with the intent to threaten and scare members of the Tawfiq Islamic Center. He said he was angry the center had decided to build their new location on Minnehaha Avenue and wanted the center to build somewhere else.

Fischer told the FBI he had become “increasingly angry with Muslims since 9/11.”

“Today’s guilty plea affirms that hate crimes directed at our communities based on their religion will not be tolerated,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Thornton said in a statement. “We will continue to aggressively investigate and bring to justice those who threaten violence against our citizens who choose to exercise their religious freedom as protected by our Constitution.”

Fischer was convicted for obstructing people’s free exercise of religious beliefs.