Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Immigrant Advocacy Group Reports Threatening Calls.

Montgomery County (webnews) police and the FBI (web) are investigating three threatening telephone calls made May 18 to the immigrant advocacy group CASA de Maryland.

CASA officials said they frequently received angry e-mails and calls. But they said the recent calls were more threatening.

"The message said 'Do not be surprised if one of these days, you find yourself with a bullet in the back of your brain,'" said Rev. Simon Bautista, CASA de Maryland Board VP.

Bautista said the call came in on his cellphone on May 18, the same day the Communication's Director for the immigrants' rights group answered his phone and heard a man saying, "'You should be scared and not surprised when all your places start to blow up in pieces."

Police said they are actively pursuing leads but would give no information about the case. They said, at the moment, the case would not be classified as a hate crime. The staff of CASA disagrees.

"We have been receiving dozens of different hate e-mails threatening our organization and our staff," said CASA de Maryland Executive Director Gustavo Torres.

A year ago, someone attempted to set fire to CASA's new day laborer center in Derwood, Maryland. Police said there was no evidence the two incidents were related.

CASA de Maryland said its website had an exceptionally high number of hits the same day the phone calls came in.

The group has also asked the State of Maryland to launch an investigation. http://www.news8.net/news/stories/0608/525149.html

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