Authorities: Man threatened to 'kill Americans' outside suburban FBI office

 
 
Updated 1/14/2019 5:56 PM
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  • Federal authorities say a man tried to force his way into the FBI's Rolling Meadows office last month after threatening to kill Americans.

    Federal authorities say a man tried to force his way into the FBI's Rolling Meadows office last month after threatening to kill Americans.

A man accused of trying to force his way into the FBI's Rolling Meadows office last month after making threats to "kill Americans" is being held without bail by federal authorities.

Matthew G. Berger, 34, faces a charge of threatening to assault and murder federal law enforcement officers in connection with the Dec. 17 incident, as well as two counts of transmitting a threat stemming from phone calls authorities say he made to federal law enforcement agencies between June 2017 and December.

Berger, whose address and hometown were not listed in court records, has been in federal custody since his arrest Dec. 28.

According to an FBI agent's affidavit filed Dec. 20 and initially sealed by court order, Berger arrived at the FBI's office on the 1600 block of Golf Road about 8 a.m. Dec. 17, approached an employee in the parking lot and said "I'm gonna make the FBI pay. I'm gonna (expletive) get them. I'm gonna get the FBI."

Berger then pointed to flagpoles outside the office and said, "All these flags will be Russian. I'm gonna kill you and kill Americans," according to the affidavit.

Berger later entered the building and knocked on the rear door to the FBI office. When an employee asked the person's name, the man answered, "Matt, Matt Berger," according to court documents.

When the employee opened the door slightly in an attempt to identify the man, Berger "began to push the door open and placed his foot between the door and the door jamb as he pushed," according to court documents. The employee was able to pull the door shut and Berger left, according to the FBI affidavit.

Authorities allege Berger called FBI offices to make threats on several previous occasions. On June 27, 2017, he called the FBI's Chicago office and asked to speak with an FBI agent, according to an affidavit. When asked if he had a federal violation to report, Berger said, "OK, we were just wondering if we needed to kill you" and "Whoever is in charge of you has to die," the affidavit said.

The FBI subsequently received four more threatening calls, including two in which the called identified himself as Matthew Gregory Berger, according to court documents.

In a Jan. 11 filing by defense attorney Alison Motta, a man identified as a longtime friend of Berger describes him as an "honest, passive and peaceful person."

"He's a true friend that I've trusted my entire life who has always shown respect and strong moral character," Edgar Murans of Palatine wrote. "Being violent is not something that is synonymous with Matthew's character."

The same defense filing includes a letter from Berger's girlfriend, which states the couple have spent most of the past year traveling across the country. When back in Illinois, the letter states, they lived in hotels in various suburbs to explore different neighborhoods.

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