AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A Missouri man has been arrested for making threats against an Augusta mosque.
Forty-nine-year-old Preston Q. Howard of Wright City, Missouri was indicted last week. He was arrested Wednesday, Dec. 13. The indictment alleges that between June 22 and Aug. 8, 2017, he made several phone calls to members of the Islamic Society of Augusta. In those calls, Howard allegedly threatened to "kill," "shoot," "behead," "slaughter," "execute," "light on fire," and "murder" members of the mosque, to "hunt down" and "zone in" on Muslims, and to "blow up the mosque."
U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine says, "Those who make detestable and hateful threats against members of our community in violation of federal law will be held accountable, as we continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identify and bring to justice those who terrorize our citizens."
"No one has the right to rob citizens of their sense of safety in their communities and where they practice their faith," says David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. "Threats intended to instill fear in religious communities are an attack on the very fabric of our society and will not be tolerated. The FBI will continue to vigorously investigate anyone who engages in such violent acts."
Howard is facing ten counts of interstate communication with intent to threaten to injure. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison for each count.