Phoenix Man From Iraq Jailed After Alleged Death Threats to Obama on Facebook

An image uploaded to Mustafa Saad Kamal's Facebook site. Kamal, a Phoenix resident, has been charged with threatening to kill former President Obama.
An image uploaded to Mustafa Saad Kamal's Facebook site. Kamal, a Phoenix resident, has been charged with threatening to kill former President Obama. Facebook
An Iraqi immigrant who owns a Phoenix smoke shop is in jail following recent Facebook rants about wanting to kill former President Barack Obama.

Mustafa Saad Kamal, 35, also allegedly fought with his mother, his brother, and police after a U.S. Secret Service agent visited on September 1 about the threats.

His Facebook page, on which he uses the handle Mustafa Saad AlDorry, displays the alleged threats in addition to bizarre drawings and pronouncements with religious and pseudo-scientific themes. The page was still in operation on Monday afternoon.

Kamal has a history of mental illness, as detailed in court records from his 2012 conviction in Maricopa County for helping his father defraud the federal food-stamp program.

Late last month, local and federal court records show, some of his Facebook posts drew the attention of Phoenix Police detective Brian Nuckols, who then alerted the Secret Service.

click to enlarge Mustafa Saad Kamal - MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Mustafa Saad Kamal
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
An August 31 post quoted in the federal complaint states that Barack Obama and Saddam Hussein are two people who "should die to free Earth" and asks that of the two, "ask the one still alive who's should die after him ..."

Another post states, "Kill the bitchies of the white house."

A third noted in the complaint says, "The most important reason I stayed quite .. IS to kill Black Magic for Earth.. Starting with Michelle and Fuck faced Obama.. And I will do it the same way they planed to do it to me and my brother.. since am the one who taught them the consciousness can not be quantified on flesh and bone until some one is dead.. we will send them to Africa and have their people take care of that part."

Nuckols and Secret Service agent Scott Rueber went to the Kamal residence in Phoenix on September 1, where Kamal invited them inside.

Rueber showed Kamal his credentials and stated that his job was to protect the president of the United States, including former presidents like Obama.

"I protect the president of the United States," Kamal reportedly answered, becoming "visibly agitated" at the mention of Obama.

Kamal asked the agent to read the offending Facebook posts to him, and Rueber did. Kamal did not deny writing the post and became "very agitated."

"I do have intent to kill President Obama," Kamal told Rueber, the complaint states. He added that Obama "'messed with' Iran, Iraq, Syria, and his family."

Kamal took an aggressive stance and ordered the agent and cop out of the home, which he shares with his family. His brother, Saifaddin Kamal, wanted to talk outside, but Mustafa Kamal would not let him out of the house, according to federal and county records.

After Nuckols and Rueber walked outside, the suspect fought with his brother and mother, who "yelled out loud from the pain." Kamal then slammed the front door so hard that it damaged the door and some window blinds, records state.

More Phoenix police officers showed up, and Kamal's brother let them inside.

Mustafa Kamal fought with officers as they tried to arrest him, shouting that his family was "being manipulated by Michelle and Obama." One officer shocked Kamal with a Taser.

When a Phoenix officer told Kamal he would help him by retrieving some flip-flops to wear, Kamal yelled back, "if you really want to help me out, you can kill President Obama."

Ruebel charged Kamal with making a verbal threat to kill or inflict bodily harm on Obama, his complaint states. After he was jailed, a Maricopa County grand jury indicted Kamal on charges of assault, resisting arrest, unlawful imprisonment, and criminal damage."

Kamal, from Baghdad, Iraq, has lived in the United States for more than a decade and is a naturalized citizen. He owns the smoke shop and convenience market at 11801 North 19th Avenue, county records state.

His father, Saad Kamal, used the store for a scheme in which he bought U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards from some customers for 50 percent of the cards' worth. He claimed he gave the cards to Mustafa Kamal, who used them to buy food. The elder Kamal also traded Vicodin for the SNAP cards. During an 11-month investigation of the store, undercover detectives sold SNAP cards to Saad Kamal for both money and drugs, records state.

Mustafa and his brother, Saifadden, helped facilitate some of the purchases. Each of the three Kamal family members pleaded guilty and received two years' probation each.According to a pre-sentence report, Mustafa
Kamal claimed that family is everything in his culture, and that he could not dishonor his father by accusing him of doing something illegal. Kamal also told a probation officer that he was "terrified at the thought of being deported."

The 2012 case records also describe how Kamal had a sudden onset of debilitating hallucinations and irrational actions in 2011, causing his family to take him to a hospital. Kamal claimed he was seeing "angels" and was having conversations with God.

A doctor diagnosed Kamal as having bipolar disorder and "psychosocial" problems. Kamal was released from the hospital after five days.

Cristina Beloud, the special-agent-in-charge for the Phoenix Secret Service field office, would not comment specifically about the case, but said that threats against current or former presidents are "taken very seriously."

"To utter a threat of any kind — that of itself is a crime," Beloud said, adding that no matter who makes threats toward a president, "we're gonna come knock on your door."

The Secret Service has stayed busy knocking on doors since Trump's election.

In June, agents arrested Joseph Lynn Pickett of Illinois after the man posted on Facebook that Trump should take "a blade in the neck."

Agents famously grilled actress Kathy Griffin this summer after she posted a photo of herself holding a mock severed head of the president.

The agency reported in June that it checks out six to eight threats a day against presidents, a number that has remained roughly the same for the past decade.
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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.