Feds unseal complaint against man accused of threatening to decapitate congresswoman
CHARGED: Aniruddha Sherbow, 43, arrested last seek in Tijuana, Mexico, is in Washington, D.C., being held on a charge of “transmission of threats in interstate commerce.”
By Malia Zimmerman September 4, 2013 Watchdog.org
HONOLULU — Federal authorities have unsealed a criminal complaint against a Hawaii man accused of threatening U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Aniruddha Sherbow, 43, arrested last week in Tijuana, Mexico, is in Washington, D.C., being held on a charge of “transmission of threats in interstate commerce.”
U.S. Capitol Police Special Agent Lauren Vieth said the threats against Gabbard go back to February 2011. Gabbard, 32, obtained a three-year restraining order against Sherbow in 2011. At the time, Gabbard was serving on the Honolulu City Council; she was elected to Congress in 2012.
The federal complaint accuses Sherbow of leaving Gabbard an expletive-laced voicemail in which he calls her a “stupid little bitch.” Sherbow says in the voicemail he plans to find the congresswoman, beat her and kill her, according to the complaint.
Sherbow’s parents, who cooperated with authorities, told authorities Sherbow was in Mexico at the time of the call, and PayPal records confirmed it, Vieth said.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI
On Aug. 3, Sherbow sent an email to the FBI and the media, including Watchdog.org, with the headline “Cutting Off Tulsi Gabbard’s Head.”
Sherbow’s father, Paul Sherbow, told investigators he also received the Aug. 3 email and confirmed his son sent it, the complaint said.
A philosophy major and writer, Sherbow corresponded exclusively with Watchdog.org in a series of emails about his reasons for making threats against Gabbard, who he referred to as “The Prima Donna” who made him feel “insignificant.”
He goes by the name “Sphinx the writer” and said he offered to volunteer in Gabbard’s council office writing press releases and other correspondence. Sherbow said he felt compelled to contact Gabbard initially because “he was born into the same obscure Western-Hindu tradition as Tulsi, the Hare Krishna Movement, also known as the Brahma Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya.”
Gabbard is one of the first female combat veterans, the first Hindu and first woman of Samoan ancestry to serve in Congress. She has not commented on Sherbow’s recent threats against her or his capture.
Her office issued a statement saying “the congresswoman is grateful for the work of the U.S. Capitol Police, FBI, and all law enforcement officers involved in this investigation.”