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A Seattle man who espoused support for Antifa causes has been arrested and federally charged for threatening to blow up a Portland police station with a bomb.
Kyle Robert Tornow, 36, is accused of using an “online communication system" to claim he planted explosives at a Portland police station, according to United States Attorney Brian Moran in a Department of Justice press release on Wednesday.
Records filed in the case allege that Tornow used the City of Portland's TrackIT system, which enables members of the public to create a user account and submit messages to the PPB, on Jul. 24 to send the bomb threat.
Using the alias "Chester Wildwood” and his father’s phone number, Tornow allegedly wrote: "I am going to bomb a police precinct in Portland, OR. The bomb is already in place and has been packaged in a way that prevents detection from canine officers. Unless your officers disengage your war with the citizens of Portland I will blow up this precinct. You are weak. We are strong, many and fluid in nature. If I am caught, others will take my place and immediately detonate the bomb. This is a felony threat. Please take this seriously to avoid death."
“Fluid in nature” appears to be a reference to the Antifa slogan, “be water.” It is a metaphor for sticking and moving together.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to trace the communications back to Tornow using the IP address of the online threat.
The criminal complaint also details Tornow’s alleged social media posts. In a now-deleted Facebook post, Tornow allegedly shared a graphic of the anarchist flag popular with Antifa. The accompanying text read: "[Y]ou must be careful out there and follow black leadership. Anarchy does not mean chaos[;] it means community care & support.”
In the criminal complaint written by the assigned FBI agent, she wrote: "Black bloc anarchist extremists believe the use of violent acts and threats are the only means of forcing their political and social change on the government and society.”
The Post Millennial investigated a number of Reddit posts by Tornow he wrote under several aliases. The posts over several years provide a fuller picture of the suspect.
Responding to the question, “How do you identify politically?” in 2015, he answered: “Anarchist.”
Under another burner account in 2016, Tornow responded to a post about wealth inequality. “Can we just figure out who these 1% people are then kill them?” he wrote. More recently, Tornow expressed support for Bernie Sanders in a post in March this year.
Other posts show his sexual interests. Tornow, who identities as openly gay, answered “rape” to a question asking what people would enjoy if the stigma wasn’t there. And responding to a question about the least favorite part of being an adult, he wrote: “Not being able to f— teenagers.”
Tornow was arrested without incident on Wednesday. The DOJ press release says he admitted to the bomb threat. His criminal record includes past arrests for harassment, theft of a motor vehicle and drug related-offences.
A threat to damage or destroy a building is punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case is under investigation by the FBI and being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Woods.