Rockland Legislator Aron Wieder gets ISIS-style threat

Posted on 19 December 2014 by Josh Fallik

lohudJames O’Rourke, jorourke@lohud.com

Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder said he’s been looking over his shoulder since receiving a threatening picture in which his face is superimposed on an ISIS prisoner about to be beheaded.

A Rockland County legislator said Thursday he’s been looking over his shoulder since receiving a threatening picture in which his face is superimposed on the body of an ISIS prisoner about to be beheaded.

AWiederLegislator Aron Wieder, D-Spring Valley, said the chilling color image was sent in an envelope postmarked from Monsey to his county office and that he opened it while the Legislature was in session Monday.

“I opened the letter and I was completely shocked. I literally had shivers running down my spine,” Wieder said.

To anyone who has seen coverage of the recent ISIS beheadings, the image would appear familiar. There is a male body dressed in orange kneeling in a barren landscape before a man shrouded in black. A picture of Wieder’s smiling face is crudely placed over the victim’s head. The legislator’s name also appears in English text below Arabic writing. An ISIS flag flies in the background.

Though evoking the terror tactics of the brutal Islamic State, who sent the image and why remains unclear.

“It’s currently under investigation,” Falco said. “We’re taking this very seriously as a threat and will be working with our partners in law enforcement and the FBI to try to track down who sent this.”

Wieder, who said the name written on the envelope was “Moshe Muhammad,” also could not speculate about the image’s sender, but believes the intent is clear.

“It’s meant to intimidate and to shock,” he said. “If it’s someone who is sympathetic toward ISIS or someone who is hateful toward the Orthodox community is no matter, it’s equally disgusting.”

Wieder, the County Legislature’s only Hasidic member, was elected to the governing body in 2011. He previously served as vice president, and later president, of the East Ramapo Board of Education. This year, he unsuccessfully tried to represent the Democratic Party in the race for the 98th Assembly District. He currently serves as majority leader of the County Legislature.

The legislator said he’s exercised a bit more caution since receiving the picture, but has remained calm.

“I’m looking over my shoulder, and that’s plenty,” he said. “I lock my doors at night, but life goes on and you hope for the best. You have to have full confidence in law enforcement.”

Rockland County Executive Ed Day issued a statement Friday calling the threat “one of the most vile and despicable renderings I have seen. To make a political point by using imagery depicting ISIS beheading an innocent person shows total disrespect to those victims. To direct this message to an elected official attacks the very core of the freedoms so many have given their lives to secure and protect.”

Twitter: @JORourkeT800

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