Iran sent threatening emails to Democratic voters in the US, emulating the right-wing group Proud Boys, according to a statement made by the National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe.
Reports of threatening emails seemingly coming from the pro-Trump group started to appear over the past few days. US security officials from both National Intelligence and the FBI say the emails are actually from Iran.
Ratcliffe went even further and said that both Russia and Iran obtained an undisclosed volume of voter registration data. However, it seems to have come from available public sources and not from an intrusion.
“We have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran, and separately, by Russia,” said the director.
“If you receive an intimidating or manipulative email in your inbox, don’t be alarmed and do not spread it,” said Ratcliffe. He also said it’s an attempt to intimidate voters, incite unrest and damage the sitting president by communicating “false information to registered voters that they hope will sow confusion chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy,” according to a BBC report.
Both Iran and Russian rejected the accusations, saying that US officials’ statements are not true and are politically motivated. Only Iran stands accused of sending the threatening emails, as Russia doesn’t seem to have been implicated.
The voting registration data is not secret in some states, and it can be released to the public by request. From the looks of it, people living in states where the data is public were targeted by the emails.
The emails started to show up in people’s inboxes on October 21, with threats of retaliation if the victims don’t change their allegiance from Democratic to Republican, and if they don’t vote for Donald Trumps in the upcoming November 3 elections.