Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Defendant Pleads Guilty to Threatening Detroit Members of the Islamic Center of America

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Justice Department today announced that Michael Bratisax pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to violating the civil rights of members of the Islamic Center of America, located in Detroit, Michigan.

In May 2004, Bratisax sent an e-mail from his home computer in New York to the Islamic Center of America threatening to kill Muslims. Bratisax made this threat with the intent to intimidate and frighten the members of the Islamic Center from practicing their religion.

"The Justice Department is committed to protecting our diverse religious heritage against acts of criminal bigotry," said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "All American families have the right to worship where they choose, undisturbed by intimidation and racist threats."

The guilty plea results from an investigation by the Detroit Field Office of the FBI, the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, and the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.

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