Radio Hosts Taunted With Death Threats Over Muhammad Cartoon Controversy
February 8, 2006
GREENVILLE, SC (February 8, 2006) -- A popular morning radio talk show host told his listeners on Greenville, SC-based WORD-AM on Wednesday morning that his life was threatened by someone after he made comments this week on a national radio program about the controversial cartoon depicting the image of the prophet Muhammad which has incited worldwide protests from the Muslim people.
Russ Cassell, co-host of "The Russ & Lisa Show" airing on 1330/950AM in Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, announced during the second hour of his show today that there had been three death threats called in to the station since he appeared on the nationally-syndicated "Mike Gallagher Show" on Tuesday talking about the Muhammad cartoon controversy.
During that appearance, Cassell announced that the cartoon would be displayed on the WORD Web site (http://newsradioword.com) so people could see for themselves what all the "hubbub" is about.
Within a few hours of being on the Gallagher show, Cassell recounted this morning that a telephone call was made to the radio station from a man who said he was going to kill him.
Not long afterwards, Cassell received another call from the unidentified man that his family was also in danger and that Cassell would be followed to work.
Finally, a third call was made to the station threatening the life of Cassell's co-host, Lisa Rollins, as well as an ominous message for the radio hosts and those around them. Cassell said they told him "don't worry, we're not going to bomb anybody."
The Federal Bureau of Investigations were called and local authorities were put on high alert regarding these death threats which are being treated as "serious." Police escorts are accompanying Cassell and Rollins to protect them against these threats as officials attempt to trace the calls that were made to the radio station.
Defiant in the face of these threats, Cassell and Rollins both appeared on the air this morning to conduct their talk show as normal. Cassell implored the public to be on the lookout for anyone who they may overhear boasting of what they did to strike fear into the radio talk show host, which he said is normal behavior for acts such as this.
If you have any information about this story, then please contact your local FBI office or local police.