Sunday, January 28, 2007

Minuteman Civil Defense Corps Threatens Lawmaker

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona lawmaker said Monday that she has received several sexually threatening e-mails in response to her bill that would make armed civil patrols an act of domestic terrorism.

Democratic state Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix, an immigrants rights advocate whose proposal targets the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and other groups that patrol the border, said she reported the e-mails to the FBI and Arizona Department of Public Safety.

There were no immediate responses late Monday afternoon from either law enforcement agency on whether they would investigate Sinema's complaint.

Sinema said she has received threats in the past but reported some recent e-mails because, unlike those from the past, they were of a sexual nature.

"This is the really frightening extreme part of our community," Sinema said.

Sinema said the e-mails came after the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps issued a press release criticizing her bill (HB2286) as an affront to members of the group.

The lawmaker said she wasn't accusing the group of being responsible for the e-mails. "It's individuals who are doing this," Sinema said.

Stacey O'Connell, the past president of the Arizona chapter who remains a member the group, said the group had nothing to do with the sexually threatening e-mails.

"That's not coming from any professional member of the Minuteman organization," O'Connell said.

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