The FBI today arrested a 43- year-old man, who had a history of harassing U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, in Mexico for threatening to decapitate the first-term congresswoman.
The arrest of Aniruddha Sherbow on Wednesday was announced in Washington, D.C. by FBI Assistant Agent in Charge Valerie Parlave and U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine.
Sherbow was arrested in Tijuana by local authorities and turned over the FBI in San Diego where he was to make an initial court appearance Friday and later in Washington, D.C.
He is charged with transmission of threats in interstate commerce.
Gabbard, 32, is in the islands during Congress’ summer recess. Gabbard’s press secretary, Heather Fluit, told the Associated Press that the congresswoman “is grateful for the work of the U.S. Capitol Police, FBI, and all law enforcement officers involved in this investigation.”
Sherbow had been stalking Gabbard for nearly three years starting when she was a member of the Honolulu City Council.
In Honolulu, FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said, “The FBI hopes that this arrest gives Representative Gabbard some peace of mind and a greater feeling of safety as she represents the people of Hawaii in Congress.”
On Aug. 2, Sherbow sent an email to the FBI and several media outlets, including the Star-Advertiser, describing how he plans to decapitate Gabbard.
In the long, rambling email Sherbow began his correspondence say: “ So it is about exactly a year ago that I sent Tulsi a message saying that my parents were dying, as a result of the character assassination she carried out on me, after I tried to help her. I had just spoken to both of my parents, and they sounded like crap. There had also been many other negative effects of Tulsi’s lies, such as damage to a number of relationships, and good people being fired because I couldn’t help.”
In his email, Sherbow mentioned other threats he made, expressing his frustration that she has allegedly never responded to his earlier correspondence.
Sherbow added: “ Last, but not least, I really was born into the same obscure Western-Hindu tradition as Tulsi, the Hare Krishna Movement, also known as the Brahma Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya. Because of this last connection, I think she is counting on me not hurting her. And she is right to count on it, because it is in fact very difficult for me to hurt her. However, we all have our limits, and I have reached mine. At this point, if you stuck Tulsi’s head in front of me, I’d have it off in two seconds flat.”
Gabbard was elected to Congress in 2012 as one of the first two female combat veterans. She is the first Hindu and first female of Samoan ancestry to serve in Congress. She is still a captain the Hawaii Army National Guard.
Sherbow then ended the August email, saying: “I, Aniruddha Sherbow, with the Divine as my witness, do hereby solemnly vow to find Tulsi Gabbard, wheresoever she may be, and to sever her head from her body.”
“Everybody happy now?
“Now I suppose the FBI agents who were waiting for one of my parents to die can go ahead and file the terroristic threatening charges against me.”
In March 24, 2011, Gabbard was granted a three-year injunction against Sherbow for allegedly making verbally abusive telephone calls and sending similar text messages to her.
Sherbow attended a meeting of the City Council in February 2011 when Gabbard was a member and sat in the same hearing room.
At that time, Gabbard said she did not know Sherbow, whom she said had contacted her more than 35 times from Feb. 3 to 23, 2011.
Gabbard told the Star-Advertiser that Sherbow, who would only identify himself as “Sphinx,” first contacted her on her cellphone on Feb. 3, 2011 when he asked her if he could rent office space from her.
When Gabbard declined, she said Sherbow called her again the next day and asked whether he could rent space to work out of her home.
On Feb. 6, 2011, Gabbard sent Sherbow a text stating, “I don’t know what’s going on, but please don’t text me or call me again.”
Gabbard said Sherbow’s communications escalated.
He had been “calling me numerous times, at strange hours.”
“Later communications were extremely inappropriate, profane, vulgar and sexual in nature- basically, taking it as far as he could go.”
Gabbard said then that she contacted police after Sherbow’s messages became more abusive, including one that said if she approached him he would force her to perform a sexual act
After Sherbow attended the Feb. 23, 2011 City Council meeting and kept moving about trying to get Gabbard’s attention, she talked to police after the meeting.
That prompted Sherbow to call her that night, leaving an angry, profane message.
Sherbow was arrested March 4, 2011 for allegedly harassing by stalking, which is misdemeanor. However, Sherbow reportedly fled the state before he was served with the criminal complaint.