Federal prosecutors said Thursday that they had detained an 18-year-old man for allegedly making broad threats against New Jersey synagogues earlier this month, saying he intended to act on his “hate of Jews.”
The Department of Justice has announced that 18-year-old Omar Alkattoul has been charged with posting “a manifesto including threats to destroy a synagogue and Jewish people” online.
It is said that Alkattoul sent someone a paper titled “When Swords Collide” and said that he had written it “in the context of an assault on Jews.”
“Let me introduce myself; my name is the assailant. “I am a Muslim with so many regrets, but this assault is not one of them,” he allegedly told investigators, citing statements made by federal prosecutors.
According to the letter that Alkattoul reportedly forwarded to at least five additional persons, he said that his reason for the assault was “hate against Jews and their horrific actions.”
According to his claimed writings, he said, “Let’s be conscious of the fact that the Jews foment the strongest enmity towards Muslimeen even in the west.”
Earlier this month, a heightened police presence was seen at synagogues and yeshivas throughout the Garden State in response to the threat, which the FBI ultimately said to have been “mitigated.”
US Attorney Philip Sellinger stated in a statement announcing the arrest, “No one should be targeted for violence or with acts of hatred because of how they worship.”
The lawsuit states, “This defendant, motivated by his anti-Semitism, allegedly threatened to harm a synagogue through social media.” The threat was immediately met with rapid action on our side and that of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.
Sayreville, New Jersey native Alkattoul faces up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine if convicted on federal charges of communicating a threat in interstate and foreign commerce.
Later on Thursday, he will go before a federal magistrate. Assuming he is found guilty, he may spend up to five years behind bars.