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Updated: Man arrested at Detroit airport for targeting University of Wisconsin transported back to Wisconsin

By: Steve Schuster, [email protected]//March 13, 2023//

Updated: Man arrested at Detroit airport for targeting University of Wisconsin transported back to Wisconsin

By: Steve Schuster, [email protected]//March 13, 2023//

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Arvin Mathur
Arvin Mathur (Photo courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Department of Anthropology)

By Steve Schuster
[email protected]

Arvin Mathur

Federal agents arrested a former University of Wisconsin-Madison student at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Friday after he allegedly threatened to kill students, staff, faculty and their children, according to court documents.

At a detention hearing Tuesday, a judge ruled to continue to hold Arvin Raj Mathur, 32,  without bond and transport him to Wisconsin. As previously reported by The Wisconsin Law Journal, authorities say he traveled from Copenhagen where was enrolled at a local university, official documents show.

Mathur “knowingly transmitted in interstate and foreign commerce communications containing threats to injure other persons,” court documents state.

A warrant was issued March 8, 2023, according to court documents obtained by the Wisconsin Law Journal.

Mathur, a former graduate student in the Department of Anthropology, is charged with interstate or foreign threat to injure after authorities say he emailed threats from outside the U.S. to nine Wisconsin residents, court records show. He made an initial appearance in federal court in Detroit on Saturday.

In one of Mathur’s emails, he accused a University of Wisconsin professor of being a spy for China and claimed he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), according to court records.  The Wisconsin Law Journal reached out to the CIA on Monday requesting a comment.

Mathur is accused of threatening nine people, most of them graduate students, staff or professors at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Among those emails were one to an anthropology professor.

“Call the police and a lawyer, otherwise, I will kill their children and hide their flesh inside burger meat,” Mathur wrote on one of the emails, according to court documents.

One victim told officials that “he was scared for his family’s safety,” according to court records.

Mathur told another victim, “Call the police, otherwise, you will make up with legs soaking in hydrofluoric acid,” according to court records.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department submitted an Emergency Disclosure Request to Google LLC to pinpoint where geographically Mathur was sending the emails. The request was sent on the basis of exigent circumstance, according to court documents.

In one of those emails, Mathur actually encouraged one of the victims to contact authorities, according to court documents.

Another victim says Mathur continued to send him harassing emails and harassing posts on his social media from August 2022 to January 2023, the complaint states.

Federal prosecutors charged Mathur in U.S. District Court’s Western Division of Wisconsin. The Detroit News reported that Mathur’s court-appointed attorney is Amanda Bashi, a federal community defender. The Wisconsin Law Journal reached out to Bashi, but she was not available for comment.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

This story has been updated.


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