What kind of person posts video on social media showing him mailing a violent anti-government manifesto and bragging that “it’s time for change”? The kind of person “we should take seriously,” in the words of one law-enforcement officer. The FBI and Wisconsin police are looking for Joseph Jakubowski before he can launch his terror campaign — and they’re watching most closely at government facilities, schools, and even churches, NBC reports:
Over 150 officers from local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies were searching for Joseph Jakubowski, who they say allegedly broke into the Armageddon Gun Shop in Janesville, Wisconsin, on Tuesday and stole 16 high-caliber rifles and handguns.
Police said Jakubowski is considered “armed and dangerous” and was in possession of a bullet-proof vest and helmet. …
Authorities said they were increasing security presence at local churches because of “anti-religion sentiment” contained within a 160-page manifesto they believe was written by Jakubowski and sent to Trump at the White House.
Police said at a press conference on Friday that Jakubowski had been “highly agitated” by national politics recently and an associate of his claimed the wanted man had spoken of a plan to steal guns and carry out an unspecified attack.
Given that he accomplished his plan to steal guns, law enforcement is taking Jakubowski seriously on his plan to commit mayhem against government and religious institutions. Over the last couple of days, they have pushed this story into the national media, clearly in hopes of getting leads on his whereabouts.
So far, that hasn’t produced an arrest or (more likely) a confrontation. With this much firepower and preparation, Jakubowski can pick and choose his targets, but at least thus far he has not named any specific targets:
“Investigators have followed up on approximately 320 tips and leads and still have approximately 50 that need to be resolved,” Sheriff’s Commander Troy Knudson said Sunday in a news release.
Police had stepped up patrols of church neighborhoods over the weekend after analyzing Jakubowski’s 161-page manifesto, which “expressed some anti-religious views,” a news release issued through Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden’s office stated.
The statement said Jakubowski had not made a “specific threat” against any church or religious group.
One church closed its doors after an unidentified man showed up on Saturday asking unusual questions about their services. Police later determined that it wasn’t Jakubowski, but nonetheless churches and other centers of worship remained on edge yesterday in Wisconsin. No incidents involving Jakubowski emerged, however.
Needless to say, if someone sees Jakubowski, the smart thing to do is to call police immediately rather than attempt to verify or challenge him. With this much media coverage, police are hoping that his movements will generate opportunities for tracking him down before he can kill anyone, but not that people will get themselves in his way.
This kind of nationwide manhunt is pretty rare without having a violent incident already taken place. The most recent example in my memory that comes close to this story would be the manhunt for Andrew Cunanan — after he had already killed several people. This effort is a good measure of just how seriously they’re taking the threat.