River Forest man arrested by FBI terrorism task force

A day after search of Park Avenue home, 6 agents take away man with history of threats

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By BILL DWYER

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A River Forest man with a court history of making threats to groups including the National Organization for Women was arrested this afternoon by federal agents with a terrorism task force.

Ronald Haddad Jr., 33, is in the Federal Metropolitan Corrections Center in Chicago after six FBI agents arrested him about 3:45 p.m. at his home at 100 block of Park Avenue.

The man believed to be the subject of an FBI probe into threatening letters and packages of live ammunition and white powder sent to Chicago officials had just returned home from a walk through the neighborhood, during which he stopped to buy a newspaper.

"He was taken into custody without incident," FBI special agent and spokesman Ross Rice said of Haddad. Rice said the FBI would have no further comment until a criminal complaint is issued and Haddad is formally charged.

Haddad came to the attention of federal authorities in 1999, when as a student at Dominican University he used, according to court documents, campus computers to file misogynistic posts detailed with violent imagery on a vengeance-focused Web site.

Wednesday Journal has confirmed that some of Haddad's current threats may be more local than Chicago and Cook County. According to its weekly summaries, the River Forest police department has a special watch on the home of Judge James Zafiratos of the 4th District Circuit Court. Zafiratos is named in a suit that Haddad filed on Nov. 7.

Haddad is scheduled to appear before a U.S. magistrate at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. According to Rice, Haddad will be charged with one count of making interstate threatening communications, which is a felony carrying a maximum 10-year prison term if convicted.

Wednesday Journal could not reach anyone in the Haddad family for comment.

Check back with www.wednesdayjournalonline.com for a related story.

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