Man behind recent church 'threats' in Colorado and Arizona is a former college basketball coach

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - 7NEWS has learned that a self- proclaimed 'Islamist Jihadist' who police say has made threats against the Catholic and Mormon churches from Arizona to Colorado is a former college basketball coach who once worked at the University of Northern Colorado.  

Christopher Dewitt Craig, 32, recently came on law enforcement's radar when he was arrested July 10 at Eastern Arizona College.

College spokesman Todd Haynie said Craig interrupted a class by waiving a Bible and asking the instructor if he was Mormon. Craig made derogatory statements about the Catholic and Mormon churches and then went to an administration building and made similar remarks, Haynie said.

Campus police arrested Craig and he was booked into the Graham County Jail on investigation of disorderly conduct, threatening and intimidating and interruption of an educational facility. The district attorney later decided not to file charges and Craig was released on July 15.

Then on July 23, Steamboat Springs police said they received a 911 call about a suspicious man with a shirt wrapped around his head and face, who was driving around a parking lot, while hanging out the car window and videotaping himself.

Arriving officers found a man matching the caller's description who was wearing a camouflage bandana around his face, a white shirt wrapped around his head and dark sunglasses covering his eyes, police said.

Police said the man claimed he was an "Islamic Jihadist," adding that "In a couple weeks everyone will know who I am." The man did not explain what he meant by the statements or make any further comments, police said.

The man was driving a white 2003 Honda Accord with black spray paint on the side reading, "REV 14-7" as well as "YHVH" on the back bumper and hood of the car.  On the top of the trunk there is a sticker that reads "F--- the DHS," police said.

"YHVH" is Hebrew for God or deity, authorities said. "DHS" could be a reference to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Book of Revelations, 14-7, states: "He said with a loud voice, 'Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters."

Steamboat Springs police did not identify the man, who was not arrested. But police said they their investigation determined the man was arrested by Eastern Arizona College campus police earlier in the month. Steamboat police also said they'd alerted the FBI and the Colorado Information Analysis Center, which analyzes possible terrorist threats.

7NEWS provided a photo of Craig to Haynie, the Eastern Arizona College spokesman, and he said campus police confirmed that the former college basketball coach was the man they arrested.

In 2010, Craig spent a year as an assistant coach with the UNC bears.

Then he went to Midland College in Texas where he coached two years before resigning in March, citing personal reasons.

Texas newspapers and TV stations reported that Craig had posted online "end of the world prophecies" and wrote that President Barack Obama would be assassinated while in Israel this past spring. He also referred to Obama as a the "anti-Christ" and called Republic presidential candidate Mitt Romney a "false prophet," according to CBS7KOSA.com.

Last weekend, Fort Collins police issued a bulletin warning local churches about the "self- proclaimed 'Islamist Jihadist,' who has made "specific threats" to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Catholic Church.

"The male who has allegedly made these threats is a self- proclaimed 'Islamist Jihadist,'" Fort Collins Police Sgt. Paul Wood wrote in the bulletin.

"In a previous incident, he claimed he was the Arch Angel Michael," Wood wrote. Citing the date of the Steamboat Springs incident, Wood said the man had "threatened that the Mormons and the Catholics would be destroyed in the next two weeks."

Wood told 7NEWS Craig hasn't committed a crime and police have no plans to arrest him. But given the nature of the threats, police wanted to warn the church community to be aware and report any suspicious activity to police.

"With the current climate in the world and terrorism and so on, we couldn't take any chances that we miss this information," Wood said.

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