WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former Maui man who authorities believe stalked Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for two years and in early August threatened to brutally kill her was arrested in Mexico earlier this week.

Aniruddha Sherbow, 43, was being held in San Diego in connection with the threat on the congresswoman’s life.

The FBI said the self-described writer and philosopher, who once lived in Lahaina, was arrested for making threats against Gabbard via email. Sherbow, who was detained in Tijuana, Mexico where he has been living, faces charges for “transmission of threats in interstate commerce,” the FBI said.

Honolulu FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said in an email, “The FBI hopes that this arrest gives Representative Gabbard some peace of mind and a greater feeling of safety as she represents the people of Hawaii in Congress.”

Sherbow is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in San Diego on Friday morning.

On Aug. 2, law enforcement officials and the media, including Civil Beat, received an email saying: “I, Aniruddha Sherbow, with the Divine as my witness, do hereby solemnly vow to find Tulsi Gabbard, wheresoever she may be, and to sever her head from her body.”

It was one of a string of emails believed to be from Sherbow in which he had grown increasingly more hostile toward Gabbard.

In 2011, Gabbard, then a Honolulu City Council member, filed for a temporary restraining order against Sherbow.

In a support letter aimed at convincing the court to keep Sherbow away from her, Gabbard describes various communications with him, starting on Feb. 3, 2011 when she says he called and text-messaged her from several different phone numbers. Gabbard noted the inherent vulnerability of political figures due to the widely available information about them and their many public engagements, and she reminded the court of how bad things could turn out.

“The Arizona shooting involving U.S representative Gabrielle Giffords is a possible example of what can occur when public officials are left exposed and unprotected from irrational and dangerous persons,” Gabbard wrote in that 2011 letter.

Judge Maura M. Okamoto granted Gabbard a three-year temporary restraining order against Sherbow that prohibited him from calling, texting or contacting Gabbard, even through social media sites. It also required him to hand over any guns and ammunition that he possessed.

Sherbow’s obsession with Gabbard goes back at least two and a half years, and it has included harassing phone calls and text messages that evolved, after the issuance of the restraining order, into increasingly bizarre rant-filled emails that culminated in the early August death threat.

But in the messages — which have been emailed to news organizations, often times including Gabbard among the recipients — he has repeatedly made vulgar, sexualized and misogynistic references to the young congresswoman.

The picture that emerges from those emails is of a man who felt slighted by Gabbard. He blamed her for his parent’s declining health and he became increasingly enraged about her refusal to respond to or acknowledge him, despite the fact that she did respond — by seeking the restraining order.

In the Aug. 2 email, Sherbow wrote, “I’ve left messages where I’m practically pleading with her, and I’ve left messages where it’s probably obvious that I am totally freaking out. She apparently does not give a crap about any of it, for there has never been a single response.”

Heather Fluit, Gabbard’s spokeswoman, declined on Wednesday to comment about the arrest, except to praise the FBI and police in Washington, D.C., who investigated the threats. Outwardly, Gabbard has seemed unaffected by the threats; on Wednesday she posted a photograph of herself on Facebook staring serenely at the ocean and issued a press release calling for more debate before any possible U.S. military attack on Syria.

However her father, state Sen. Mike Gabbard, expressed a sense of relief on Facebook. “The Gabbard ohana sincerely thank all law enforcement at the county/state/federal level for protecting our daughter, and tracking this creep down. We owe you.”

In February 2011, Sherbow showed up at an event for Mike Gabbard, and signed in under the name “Rudy Sherbow,” she wrote in her letter to the court. Four days later, on Feb. 23, Tulsi Gabbard noticed Sherbow in the audience of a City Council meeting at which he testified under a fake name. Gabbard said she recognized the man’s voice from all the messages he had left her. Gabbard contacted the Honolulu Police Department, but the night that she did, Sherbow again called and text-messaged the councilwoman “chastising” her for calling the police.

His correspondence, Gabbard wrote, made “comments of a personal nature against me including references to my residence as well as my person.”

“His demeanor has become increasingly hostile and aggressive including profanity and sexual references. The chronology of these incidents has caused me great concern for the safety of myself, my staff as well as my family.”

A month later, Okamoto issued the three-year injunction that also barred Sherbow from being near Gabbard’s residence or workplace.

Sherbow told the Hawaii Reporter he was never served with the order. But a district court spokeswoman told Civil Beat that records show Sherbow was served with the order on the day it was issued.

Sherbow described himself in a Feb. 17 message to media outlets, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, the Hawaii state elections office, the Gabbards, and others: “For some minimum background about myself, I work as a professional writer, I have a degree in philosophy, and I share a fairly obscure identity with Tulsi, that of being a Western-born white Hindu. It was this last connection, in particular, that made me sit up and take notice when I discovered Tulsi.”

Sherbow lamented that, “Tulsi was apparently not interested in my writing skills. Instead, I found myself being herded into quite a different track, towards the position I refer to as ‘the designated scumbag.'”

At times, the emails also address politics. One, that was sent to newspaper editors in Hawaii on April 3, chastises Gabbard for voting for a spending bill to keep the government functioning while also, controversially, leaving sequestration budget cuts in place. “Tulsi made a mistake by voting in favor of this bill. Now many of those who supported her campaign feel betrayed, and will not support her in the future,” he wrote.

In a July 26 email that hid the recipients, Sherbow opined about the controversial domestic surveillance program by the National Security Agency, saying the government should adopt a principle of avoiding policies that “imply that the people are the enemy.”

But he spent much of his energy blaming Gabbard for his father’s poor health and, in a complaint sent to the House Ethics office on June 17, he accused her of sending the FBI to harass him.

On Aug. 2, the message took a violent turn. It was sent to Gabbard, the Washington and New York offices of the FBI, and an array of news outlets, including Civil Beat, The New York Times, ABC and NBC, and Fox News.

“We all have our limits, and I have reached mine,” the email said. “At this point, if you stuck Tulsi’s head in front of me, I’d have it off in two seconds flat.”

Nick Grube contributed to this report.

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