From heavy security at the Shawano City Council meeting to a police escort for the mayor, a community is on high alert. A city alder confirms the FBI is investigating implied threats against city and county officials.
“They basically they said you’re on a list, have a good day. Now we have to worry about one more thing in our lives,”
An FBI investigation led to a warning about a threat against dozens of people.
Shawano Alder Bob Kurkiewicz says the FBI warned community leaders that a religious organization just outside of Shawano has made implied threats against them.
The group, run by a man known as Dr. Samanta Roy, has had a contentious relationship with people in the Shawano area for years. Kurkiewicz says it has now escalated to threats against roughly 60 people.
Action 2 News has information that the implied threats are against everyone from the mayor to city council members to even the police chief.
The alder we talked with says the threats are not specific but no one here is taking any chances.
At Wednesday night’s city council meeting, not a word was mentioned about the FBI investigation and the mayor had no comment for the media.
Mayor Lorna Marquardt was surrounded by police officers as she left the meeting.
“We’re taking some extra, precautionary measures to make sure nothing does happen,” Police Chief Ed Whealon said. “We don’t know, but we’re just going ahead, take a little more precautionary measures.”
Chief Whealon wouldn’t talk about the specifics of the situation.
The FBI released a statement:
“The FBI made a public announcement to 60 potential victims in Shawano, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, November 5th. The FBI advised these individuals that they were potential victims of an implied threat that was discovered as part of an ongoing investigation.”
Kurkiewicz confirmed there are references to the religious organization.
Earlier today we received an email from someone who stated that as it is with most things, there are two sides to this story. They provided the following link and requested that we include it in this post.
Background story from 2005 on the Samanta Roy group mentioned in the story
From The Chicago Tribune
The FBI says 60 Shawano residents have been notified they were “potential victims of an implied threat” that authorities discovered during an investigation.
FBI spokesman Leonard Peace in Milwaukee issued a statement Wednesday saying the 60 people were notified a week earlier, on Nov. 5. According to Peace, “The FBI advised these individuals that they were potential victims of an implied threat that was discovered as part of an ongoing investigation.”
He said no specific details of the case could be released because the investigation is ongoing.
Contacted by telephone Wednesday evening, Peace reiterated that no further information is being released at this time.
Shawano City Council Meeting Held Under Tense Conditions
The Shawano City Council held a regularly scheduled council meeting under some very tense conditions Wednesday night. “We are supporting the F.B.I., assisting them”, said Shawano Police Chief Ed Whelon, whose department was providing tight security and metal detectors for the council meeting. “If they need our help, we’ll provide that assistance to them.”
A hit list uncovered by the F.B.I. has the names of 60 people from the Shawano community, including the Police Chief, Mayor, and many of the community leaders present at Wednesday’s meeting.
At a meeting that NewsChannel 7’s Mikel Lauber was present for one week earlier, the City leaders and local residents on the list were told by the F.B.I. and local law enforcement to be vigilant and keep a watchful eye. At that meeting, law enforcement said The Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology, or SIST, was being investigated in connection to the list.
Darlene sense, a member of S.I.S.T. seen holding a video camera in NewsChannel 7’s ‘Secrets in Shawano’ series came to Wednesday’s council meeting, but wouldn’t respond to any questions about the investigation into S.I.S.T. She remained silent, videotaping reporters who questioned her and vehicles parked outside City Hall before she left.
With the community uncertain of how real the threat is, or exactly who’s responsible, local leaders just hope the community will be patient. “We ask you to have some faith in the city”, Whelon said. “And I think given enough time, we’ll be fine.”