(Photo Credit: Fort Collins Coloradoan)
FORT COLLINS - Fort Collins police have asked local religious organizations to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior after a self-proclaimed "Islamist jihadist" threatened Mormons and Catholics "would be destroyed" in the next two weeks, a memo sent by authorities said.
The man hadn't been seen in the Fort Collins area as of Sunday, and there is no immediate danger to the public, Fort Collins Police Services Sgt. Mike West told the Coloradoan.
No further details, including the man's identity, were immediately available. Threats were made in general regard to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Catholic Church; no local organizations were specifically referenced in the FCPS memo.
Rev. Steven Voss said the Archdiocese of Denver shared with him on Friday the Fort Collins Police Services memo and reading its words of caution made his "blood run cold." But between Sunday Masses at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 300 W. Mountain Ave., Voss said he's "pretty confident" he and his parishioners won't have an interaction with the man he was told was "nonviolent."
To give worshipers a sense of peace, he asked an FCPS officer to keep watch during weekend services.
When he read the police bulletin during Mass Saturday, an "audible gasp" escaped those seated in the pews. A day later, "after the initial, kind of having your breath taken away moment," there was a greater sense of calm, he believes was due in part to police presence.
Spokespeople with the Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, weren't available for comment Sunday, nor could the Coloradoan immediately reach anyone with a local LDS church.
Described as a white man in his early 30s, the man was contacted by police Tuesday in Steamboat Springs when an officer reportedly saw him attempting to shoot a video while driving.
Wearing a T-shirt wrapped around his head, and a bandana and sunglasses over his face, the man allegedly told police everyone would know who he was in the next two weeks but didn't elaborate, Steamboat Springs Police Department Sgt. Jeff Wilson said. The man who police say claimed he was the Archangel Michael was spotted leaving Rocky Mountain National Park Thursday, the FCPS memo to religious organizations said.
A vehicle associated with the man is a white Honda coupe on which someone spray-painted "F*** DHS" (Department of Homeland Security) on the trunk, "Rev 14-7" on its side and "YHVH" (Hebrew for god or deity) on the back bumper and hood.
Due to the nature of the threats, religious organizations are strongly encouraged to report suspicious activity to police at (970) 221-6540. Those with questions may contact Sgt. Paul Wood at (970) 224-6132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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