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Police and FBI probe Twitter threat against U.S. Senator Cruz

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to members of the Texas Federation of Republican Women in San Antonio, Texas October 19, 2013. REUTERS/J
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to members of the Texas Federation of Republican Women in San Antonio, Texas October 19, 2013. REUTERS/J

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Law enforcement officials are investigating threats made against U.S. Senator Ted Cruz on Twitter last week, police said on Sunday.

U.S. Capitol Hill Police and the FBI are looking into series posts made against the Texas Republican by a person identifying himself as Troy Gilmore Jr., who used the Twitter handle @ArmyVet54 and described himself as a military veteran.

"Take down Ted Cruz, at his home," read one post. Another post said, "What goes around comes around CRUZ!!"

Many of the messages were posted while Congress was negotiating to raise the nation's borrowing authority and to find a way to reopen the government after a two-week shutdown.

Cruz, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, has been a leading critic of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law which was a focal point of the fiscal fight in Congress.

"It's an active investigation," said Officer Shennell Antrobus, a spokesman for the Capitol Police. He declined to elaborate on the credibility of the threats.

It is often routine policy for authorities to look into potential threats that are made on social media sites and directed at members of Congress.

Cruz's office confirmed that they had referred the matter to the police last week.

"We're aware of the situation and have alerted the proper authorities," said Sean Rushton, a Cruz spokesman.

(Reporting By Margaret Chadbourn; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

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