Conservative Commentator Ben Shapiro Gets Death Threats, FBI Arrests Suspect: Reports

May 1, 2019 Updated: May 2, 2019

The FBI arrested a man in Washington State for allegedly making death threats against Ben Shapiro, an American conservative political commentator and social media personality, according to TMZ.

TMZ was told that the suspect had allegedly made “extremely serious” threats against Shapiro and his family. Shapiro later confirmed the general situation by tweeting a link to the story.

“Thanks to local and federal law enforcement for their quick and hard work here,” Shapiro wrote in a Twitter post. “Stay safe out there, everyone!”

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Media Relations Officer Jeff Lee told CBSLA that Shapiro had filed a report with them, and the LAPD transferred the case to the FBI. The FBI later arrested the suspect.

Ben Shapiro, 35, is the editor-in-chief for the conservative news site The Daily Wire, which he founded. He also hosts “The Ben Shapiro Show,” a daily political podcast and radio program. Shapiro is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School. Between 2012 and 2016, he was an editor-at-large of Breitbart News. Shapiro is an Orthodox Jew. He has written at least 10 books, the latest being No. 1 New York Times best-seller “The Right Side Of History.”

A video clip of Shapiro’s comments on “The Ben Shapiro Show” on April 29 recently went viral on Twitter when he said that Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has “a lot of the same opinions about Jews that the white supremacist had in that manifesto.”

By “white supremacist,” Shapiro was referring to the shooter who killed a woman and injured several others in an attack at the San Diego-area synagogue on April 27, in what President Donald Trump said “looked like a hate crime.”

Shapiro was referencing a 2012 tweet from Omar where she had accused Israel of “hypnotizing the world.” Omar has since apologized for the tweet.

Economist Apology to Shapiro

In March, The Economist magazine apologized to Shapiro for smearing him in a headline.

Shapiro spoke with the magazine and it published the interview under the headline: “Inside the mind of Ben Shapiro, the alt-right sage without the rage.”

Shapiro, who is Jewish, quickly hit back, noting that the “alt-right” descriptor didn’t apply to him.

“This is a vile lie. Not only am I not alt-right, I am probably their leading critic on the right. I was the number one target of their hate in 2016 online according to ADL data. I demand a retraction,” Shapiro said on Twitter.

“You should be ashamed of yourselves for that garbage headline and description. To call yourselves a journalistic outlet and then botch this one so badly is astonishing,” he added.

Technically “alt-right” refers to people who are outside the conservative mainstream, such as neo-Nazis, but it’s increasingly wielded by leftist publications and commentators as a smear against any conservative or conservative idea they don’t like.

Shapiro then shared links that document his criticisms of the alt-right, including criticism he issued after the Charlottesville clashes between some alt-right groups and radical leftist groups, including Antifa.

He also noted that in his recently published New York Times bestseller, “The Right Side of History,” he criticized alt-right groups.

The Economist later deleted the tweet that it used to promote the article and changed the headline, adding an editor’s note to the top of the article.

The headline now reads: “Inside the mind of Ben Shapiro, a radical conservative.”

Shapiro also criticized the new characterization but said that it was “at least defensible.”

The Economist said that the description of Shapiro was a “mistak[e].”

NTD reporter Zack Stieber contributed to this report

Follow Mimi on Twitter: @MimiNguyenLy
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