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Amid Gaza war, Dearborn police arrest man for threat to 'hunt Palestinians'

memes, including one that says "gun saves lives" and "pure blood"
A sampling of images posted on a Facebook account police suspect was operated by a man arrested by Dearborn police over an online threat to “hunt Palestinians.” (Facebook screenshot)
  • Dearborn police arrest man after Facebook invite to ‘hunt Palestinians’
  • Authorities obtained a search warrant to arrest 41-year-old Carl Mintz of Farmington Hills
  • Threat comes amid the Middle East war that has also led to a rise in antisemitic activity online

LANSING — With war raging between Israel and Hamas, Dearborn police on Thursday arrested a man over a social media invitation to "hunt Palestinians" in the Michigan city, which is home to the largest proportion of Arab-Americans in the country. 

Authorities are not disclosing the name of the man until he is arraigned, but records reviewed by Bridge Michigan show Dearborn police had requested an arrest warrant for Carl Mintz, 41, a gun advocate who lives in Farmington Hills.


Corporal Aaron Najor told Bridge earlier Thursday that he had "been made aware" of and was investigating a post Mintz had written on Facebook.


In a Thursday statement, Dearborn police chief Issa Shahin said an anonymous tip spurred police to investigate "a credible threat made on social media proposing acts of violence against Palestinian-American residents in Dearborn," which is home to the largest proportion of Arab Americans in the United States. 

Shahin said the suspect was arrested on probable cause for using a computer or electronic device to commit a crime. 

The Facebook post in question asked: "Anyone in the Metro Detroit area want to go to Dearborn & hunt Palestinians?" The Facebook page is full of posts featuring Confederate flags, gun memes and support for Russia amid that country's invasion of and war against Ukraine. 

The Dearborn threat was posted less than a week after Hamas, which the United States and European Union considers a terrorist group, launched an attack against Israel, killing more than 1,300 people and escalating a decades-long feud over disputed territory. 

Israel has responded with force, reportedly dropping more than 6,000 bombs on Gaza and killing roughly 1,800 people in the territory. 

The conflict has also spurred a wave of online anti-Semitism across the United States, including calls for violence against Jews, Israelis and Zionists, according to the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, which earlier this week cataloged several of those threats. 

Dearborn police said Thursday they are not aware of any additional credible threats against local residents but have increased police presence at all places of worship and schools. 

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud thanked police in a statement of his own and said metro Detroit's "strong interfaith tapestry" is the result of decades of "fellowship among neighbors of Jewish, Islamic, Christian, and other faiths."

"We will not allow the disheartening actions of one individual to break the bonds of our longstanding relationships with one another, Hammoud said. 

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan chapter, urged prosecutors to charge the man who made the Facebook threat under Michigan's ethnic intimidation law, which carries penalties of up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine in addition to sentences for any underlying crimes. 

“Hate has no home in Michigan, and violence based on hate has no place in civil society," Walid said Friday. 

Mintz, who could not immediately be reached for comment, was charged in 2010 with felony assault with a dangerous weapon after shooting another motorist who had approached his car during a road rage dispute. 

Mintz ultimately reached a deal in the non-fatal shooting, pleading guilty to a lesser misdemeanor weapons charge, and was sentenced to 128 days in jail and required to seek psychiatric help, according to state records and news reports

At the time of his 2010 arrest, Mintz claimed to be part of a Jewish group protecting Israel and posted YouTube polemics against Islam, calling the religion a "cult" and a "threat to all Judeo-Christian nations."


Mintz has since become a regular at demonstrations across the state, including pro-gun rallies and a 2020 Michigan Capitol protest against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's COVID-19 policies.

Rob Kinnison, another regular at pro-gun rallies in Michigan, wrote this week on Facebook that he had emailed Dearborn police about Mintz's post and had considered him a friend "until he threatened mass murder."  

Mintz last year lost a write-in campaign for the Farmington Hills School Board. He regularly speaks at school board meetings — including one this week — and maintains a Facebook page suggesting he is running again for the board.

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