Former student at Wisconsin college charged in Michigan threats case

Arvin Raj Mathur

A former University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student threatened students, staff members and professors at the university, telling some of them via email before he traveled to the U.S. last week that he planned to kill their children, according to court documents.

Arvin Raj Mathur, 32, was in Michigan's St. Clair County Jail on Sunday following his arrest after traveling from Copenhagen, where he has been enrolled at a university, court records and online jail records show.

Federal agents arrested Mathur on Friday night at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and he is being temporarily held without bond, The Detroit News reported. He's scheduled for a Tuesday detention hearing.

Court records state that Mathur "knowingly transmitted in interstate and foreign commerce communications containing threats to injure other persons."

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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 Saturday.

Weeks ago, a man fatally shot three students and wounded five others on the Michigan State University campus.

Mathur is accused of threatening nine people, most of them graduate students, staff or professors at the Madison campus. Among those emails were one to an anthropology professor saying that two of the other people he had threatened should "sue me right away," authorities said.

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"Otherwise, I will murder their children. Call the police and a lawyer, otherwise, I will kill their children and hide their flesh inside of their burger meat," he added in the email, court records show.

Authorities have accused him of sending another email to an assistant professor with the Wisconsin college's anthropology department with the subject line, "We are going to kill your daughters." That person told officials that "he found the email disturbing and he was scared for his family’s safety," according to court records.

An anthropology professor told authorities that Mathur sent her an email in late February with the subject line, "We’re going to kill your family," leaving her frightened and worried about her family’s safety, according to court records.

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. She did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.