A Michigan man was arrested after an FBI investigation, accused of threatening to travel to Atlanta to commit mass murder at CNN headquarters.
According to federal court documents obtained by CBS46 Monday, 19-year-old Brandon Griesemer made 22 calls to CNN earlier this month.
It began with claims of "fake news" and ended with threats of violence.
Griesemer told a CNN operator, among other things, "Fake news. I'm coming to gun you all down."
He then called again, saying, "I'm smarter than you. More powerful than you. I have more guns than you. More manpower. Your cast is about to get gunned down in a matter of hours."
Griesemer continued, "I am coming to Georgia right now to go to the CNN headquarters to f---ing gun every single last one of you."
Investigators were able to trace the caller and stop him before he was able to carry out any of his violent desires.
He's been released on $10,000 unsecured bond.
Griesemer is also accused of making derogatory and racially motivated comments regarding blacks and Muslims in the calls.
In response to our story, a number of CNN anchors and reporters responded on social media, expressing concerns that the unfounded accusations of "Fake News" are leading to threats of violence by the unstable.
Hours after our report, CNN issued a statement late Monday:
"We take any threats to CNN employees or workplaces, around the world, extremely seriously. This one is no exception. We have been in touch with local and federal law enforcement throughout, and have taken all necessary measures to ensure the safety of our people."
Tuesday, CNN President Jeff Zucker sent the following note to employees:
As you may have seen in press reports overnight, there was a significant security threat that was aimed at our employees at the CNN Center in Atlanta earlier this month.
I want to make sure you all know that we were in close contact with local and federal law enforcement from the moment the threats were made, throughout the entire investigation, and up until the suspect was arrested last week. We continue to remain in contact with them about this matter.
I know the details of this will seem frightening to some of you, and I understand. I can tell you that, at no time, as these phone calls came in did the federal law enforcement officials feel that there was an immediate threat of danger to any of our employees. With that said, we still stepped up our security procedures in Atlanta and elsewhere, as a precautionary measure.
Sadly, this is part of the reality we live in, as members of the media. I want to assure you that at every level of this company, nothing is more important than your safety. While you know we don’t talk publicly about security measures, let me assure you that we have addressed this situation.
I have a regularly scheduled broadcast town hall on Thursday at 1pm ET. I’ve asked Jeff Gilbert, who heads up Turner Security, to join me to update all of us, with as much detail as he reasonably can, on security at CNN. Please join me then, and send me your questions in advance or during the town hall.
You can read the full criminal complaint below. A warning, foul language is used:
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