State Watch

FBI says it is aware of anti-Semitic posts, threats directed at Seattle City Council candidate

The FBI says it is investigating online anti-Semitic threats against a candidate for Seattle's city council.

The Seattle Times reported Friday that anonymous posts on the largely-unregulated message board 8chan indicated that a man who claimed to live on the same street as candidate Ari Hoffman had posted threatening messages including images of Hoffman's family.

8chan, a notorious image board associated with the alt-right, was the site of violent threats posted online by a man who opened fire at a California synagogue earlier this year.

"The FBI is aware of the threats against Mr. Hoffman," FBI spokeswoman Jillian Voigt told the Times. "We are in regular contact with local authorities, and will take appropriate action if information develops to suggest a potential federal violation."

Hoffman, who is Jewish, told the Times that Seattle police notified him of the threats in a note this week, calling them "horrifying" but a sad part of daily life as a Jewish-American.

"It was pretty horrifying," Hoffman told the Times. "This is just life as a Jew and it's unfortunate."

Several candidates have already issued statements of support for Hoffman following the report of the threats, including two of Hoffman's challengers for the district 2 council seat, Phyllis Porter and Tammy Morales.

"Violence and trauma have affected our South Seattle communities for too long. All types of intimidation and threats made against all people must stop," Porter reportedly wrote on Facebook.

"No one should be targeted because of their identity, religious or otherwise, and as a Jewish person myself I know all too well why these threats should be taken very seriously," added Morales, according to the Times.