New York state police have opened a "full-blown" investigation into an e-mail threat against state senators and assemblymen from a writer who asks, "Give me a chance to pull a Gabby Giffords."
The reference to the shooting of the Arizona Congresswoman has alarmed officials in Albany, where a state budget that could result in layoffs of employees passed early Thursday morning.
A state police spokeswoman said the e-mail, with the subject line "Time to Kill," was sent to "many" of the state's senators and assembly members and is regarded as much more than a sick April Fool's Day joke.
"We are fully investigating but I cannot provide any more details at this time," said Trooper Maureen Tuffey, the spokeswoman for Troop G of the state police, which covers Albany.
In the e-mail, first reported by ABC affiliate WTEN-TV, the writer says, "News reporters, politicians and the wealthy are all going to be targets."
The message was sent from someone using the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I personally am going to use my position and contacts in State government to gather information about the vulnerabilities of public and private targets in New York," the writer said.
The state police spokeswoman would not comment on whether security had been enhanced for leaders of the legislature.
"If we attack a school bus full of kids, it may have no effect on the hardened criminals who rule Albany, but it will put the public in an uproar. Our goal is to create anarchy. You'll have to kill us to stop us," the message read.
The writer refers to "one legislator who should immediately recognize" the author because they spoke three years ago and "I spoke to him in person and warned him about these very topics, including the school attacks."
In a chilling final paragraph, the writer warns: "I bet he wasn't paying attention. We're going to get his attention. Come visit my agency. Give me a chance to pull a Gabby Giffords."
One New York legislator, minority leader James Tedisco, confirmed he and other statesmen received the threatening message. Tedisco's security has not been heightened in response to the threat, but Tedisco said the message was so well written it had to be taken seriously.
"The writer fits the profile of someone who has come to feel the government is illegitimate and he has to take action about it," said former FBI profiler Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant.
"He seems like someone who may have been marginalized in his job, angry at his bosses and perhaps passed over for promotion," said the former agent. "Obviously, this has to be taken seriously, but usually people who plan to do this don't talk about, they just do it."