An incident report and court documents obtained by CNN indicate that a thirteen-year-old boy from Ohio is facing criminal charges for allegedly developing “a detailed plan” to carry out a mass shooting at a synagogue in September.
Court records indicate that the adolescent, whose identity has not been made public by investigators, submitted “a detailed plan to complete a mass shooting” at Temple Israel in Canton. According to the documents, the defendant caused “significant public alarm” by posting the plot on Discord and authorities notifying public entities and agencies as well as the educational system.”
According to an incident report from the Stark County Sheriff’s Office dated September 7, he supposedly intended to “burn and shoot up” the place of worship. The sheriff’s department was asked by an FBI agent to help them contact the suspect “in regards to threats to burn and shoot up” the synagogue, according to the report. This White man suspect was named in the partially redacted report.
An FBI agent “went over his findings” with the teen, according to the incident report, which “included plans and maps of the synagogue made possibly by the suspect and an unknown individual from Washington State sent through the app Discord.” The teen and his mother were arrested after the agents visited their home.
Court records indicate that the 13-year-old is facing minor charges related to the incident that occurred on September 1, including inciting panic and disruptive behavior. For comment, CNN has contacted the teen’s lawyer. The seriousness of the teen’s intentions and whether or not firearms were discovered during his arrest are still unknown.
CNN has requested additional information from the synagogue. According to Discord’s statement, the company informed the FBI about the user.
The person was apprehended because “Discord’s Counter-Extremism analysts proactively detected, removed, and reported this user to the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center,” according to a statement given by John Redgrave, the VP of trust and safety at Discord, in an interview with CNN.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy against hate and violent extremism, and when we see it, we take immediate action. It is a top priority for Discord to ensure a safe experience for our users,” the statement said.
“He was part of many anti-Semitic and political organizations on Discord,” the juvenile suspect allegedly told officials, according to the sheriff’s report. Previous coverage of the story came from local news station WKYC and CNN affiliate WOIO.
According to a statement released Thursday by the Stark County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to a property in Plain Township on September 7 in response to a complaint regarding a 13-year-old child “engaging in concerning conversations (on) a social media platform.”
According to the statement, the trial is scheduled for December 20 in the juvenile court. “We stand by a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to threats made against our community,” stated Stark County Sheriff George Maier. We take every threat seriously and investigate it completely.
“We work diligently to ensure that those responsible are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Protecting our community is a responsibility we bear with the highest level of commitment and vigilance,” the sheriff added. The event occurred almost a month before Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. Israel then went to war with Gaza.
The war has caused an upsurge of antisemitic and other threats in the US. As the war enters its third month, more and more events involving Jews, Arabs, and Muslims in the US have been documented.
The Anti-Defamation League said that in the two months following the conflict’s start on October 7, there were over 2,000 antisemitic incidents in the United States. This represents a 337% increase compared to the same period last year.
In the month following the start of the conflict, there was a “unprecedented” increase in prejudice incidents, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Since then, the organization has recorded over 2,000 cases of bias and requests for assistance.
The Cleveland chapter of the Anti-Defamation League expressed “horror” and gratitude to authorities for “its thorough investigation” into the mass shooting plot in Ohio on Wednesday.
We’re horrified that a young teen has been arrested and accused of planning a mass shooting at a synagogue in Canton, Ohio. We thank law enforcement for its thorough investigation. 🧵(1/2) https://t.co/mV0NkZQny5
— ADL Cleveland (@ADL_Cleveland) December 13, 2023
“For young people like this suspect, we hope this can be a teachable moment,” the group said. “Hate and threats on social media, as in real life, cannot and will not be tolerated.”
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