Someone has made repeated physical threats (essentially, that they will beat me up) in multiple FB discussions. This person presents themselves under their real identity (is not a troll with a fake name) and I know that because we used to be friends and still have mutual friends. We live in different US states but the threats, of which I have screenshots, were made in a different language though I am sure it can easily be certifiably translated.

Can I report these threats to a law enforcement agency and which agency should it be, considering we live in different jurisdictions?

1 Answer 1


Yes, although whether you get any response depends on a lot of factors. Specific, credible threats are much more likely to get a response than "I'm gonna kick your ass, amphibient, you (insert opposing viewpoint/sports team/etc)."

The law broken in question would be:

18 U.S. Code § 875.c: Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

As you are in different states, this would need to be reported at a national level. This would be done at https://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx.

Whether or not this is the best option depends on what you hope to accomplish and whether the other person is likely to act on those threats.

  • 1
    In practice, the hard question is usually whether the act is a true threat, or just hyperbole. The state and local authorities where you a located and where the threat maker is located also have jurisdiction.
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 14, 2020 at 22:59
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    @ohwilleke a true threat must create a reasonable fear in the recipient that the threat may be carried out, correct?
    – Dale M
    Sep 15, 2020 at 1:47
  • @DavidM Sounds right. That's the substance of it, in any case.
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 15, 2020 at 19:54

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