FBI investigating anti-Jewish email to University of Michigan students

(JTA) — The FBI is investigating a series of mass emails sent to students at the University of Michigan threatening violence against Jews and blacks.

Three emails were sent Tuesday night to students in the university’s computer science and engineering program, according to news reports.

One of the emails, with the subject line “Jewish Student Diversity,” read: “Hi you f***ing filthy jews, I just wanted to say the SS will rise again and kill all of your filthy souls. Die in a pit of eternal fire! Sincerely, Dr. Alex Halderman.”

J. Alex Halderman, a professor at the university, denied sending the emails and told the campus newspaper that it takes little sophistication to make it seem like the emails were sent by him. A statement from the university on Wednesday confirmed that the emails had been forged.

The other two emails, written under the subject line “African American Student Diversity,” threatened to kill black students and saluted the KKK and Donald Trump.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel condemned the emails in a tweet early Wednesday morning.

The Anti-Defamation League also denounced the messages.

“The nature of the emails sent are deeply troubling to African-American and Jewish students as well as the campus community at large,” Heidi Budaj, ADL Detroit Regional Director, said in a statement. “These hateful messages strike at the very core values of inclusion and diversity upon which the University is founded and have the potential to really affect the tenor on campus.”

In a statement Wednesday, the university said campus police had increased patrols near the engineering school and that a joint criminal investigation had been launched with the FBI.


DeVos Backlash Sees Parents Threatening to Homeschool Kids

Image: U.S. Education Secretary DeVos concludes her remarks to Education Department staff on her first day on the job in Washington
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos concludes her remarks to Education Department staff on her first day on the job in Washington, on Feb. 8. Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Among the initial opposition to Betsy DeVos’ confirmation this week as education secretary were calls on social media by parents, including liberals, to start homeschooling their children.

That reaction to DeVos — a billionaire school-choice advocate who has never worked, attended or sent her kids to a public school — reflects how polarizing her nomination was.

It also comes layered with paradox.

That’s because DeVos, whom the Senate confirmed Tuesday to head the Education Department, is herself a big proponent of homeschooling.