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Who is John Thornton? Joe Biden gets death threats from New Mexico man, 39, who planned mass shooting

New Mexico's John Benjamin Thornton, who threatened to kill Joe Biden, planned a mass shooting where he would kill staff of a Canadian computing firm
UPDATED MAY 27, 2021
John Benjamin Thornton has been charged with threatening to kill President Joe Biden (Dona Ana County Jail/ Alex Wong/ Getty Images)
John Benjamin Thornton has been charged with threatening to kill President Joe Biden (Dona Ana County Jail/ Alex Wong/ Getty Images)

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO: A man from New Mexico has been charged for allegedly threatening to kill President Joe Biden and others in a series of text messages that he sent to four people in Texas and Florida. John Benjamin Thornton allegedly used interstate commerce communications to send a threat to injure another person. FBI alleges he sent messages indicating he was going to execute employees at D-Wave Systems Inc, a Canadian computing company.

The text messages that are allegedly from Thornton were submitted as evidence in a criminal complaint, which included statements that he was "taking leadership of revolutionary Army called the 3%ers," an apparent reference to the anti-government Three Percenters group. According to the complaint, 39-year-old Thornton, also called himself a "revolutionary war general", and texted: "5 stars now. 5 stars after I execute Joe Biden for Treason." Thornton's arrest comes after the president faced a number of security threats, including one instance where a man threatened to kidnap Vice President Kamala Harris along with Biden.


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President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress in the House chamber of the Capitol on April 28, 2021, in Washington, DC (Melina Mara-Pool/Getty Images)

Many other threats to the president have been made in recent months. In February 2021, David Kyle Reeves, a North Carolina man, made similar threats. In a criminal complaint against him, it was stated that "Reeves contacted multiple times the White House switchboard via telephone and made threats against President Biden and others." In March 2021, we reported that a Michigan man named Joshua Docter allegedly threatened to gun down Biden and Nancy Pelosi. Docter was accused of threatening to shoot and kill the officials and "be the catalyst for a new American revolution". Docter was later charged with terrorism.

According to Doña Ana County Jail records, Thornton is being held without bond and he had not been appointed an attorney as of Wednesday afternoon, May 26. Thornton is scheduled to appear remotely for a federal court hearing on Friday morning, May 28. FBI did not identify who received the text messages or whether they had any connection to Thornton.

The texts that were provided in the criminal complaint filed against Thornton claim that a Canadian computer company was using a device to "tunnel into the Brainwaves of ALL Methamphetamine users Brainwaves, globally." Thornton had created Facebook posts accusing D-Wave Systems of drugging people with methamphetamine at the government's request. In the text messages allegedly sent by Thornton, he wrote: "We are taking the Hells Angel's d-wave quantum computer company and shotgun execute every single one of them for running MKTJLTRA."

In the text messages, he also threatened his ex-wife and wrote, "My ex wife is a traitor and is likely to be executed by my new government." The FBI stated that the messages were sent from a phone which was owned by Thornton and also included a picture of him. "Thornton has been the subject of complaints since November 11, 2020, by several persons who have received messages characterized as disturbing or threatening since that time," according to the complaint.