Authorities in New Jersey have detained an 18-year-old man who they say posted online threats against several synagogues earlier this month, citing his “hate for Jews” as his motivation.
The Department of Justice said that 18-year-old Omar Alkattoul had been arrested for posting “a manifesto including threats to destroy a synagogue and Jewish people” online.
Someone claims that Alkattoul sent them a paper titled “When Swords Collide” and said that Alkattoul composed it “in the context of an assault on Jews.”
I’m the one who attacked, and I’d want to introduce myself… Federal prosecutors report that he told them, “I am a Muslim with so many regrets but I can guarantee you this assault is not one of them.”
At least five additional persons received the paper that Alkattoul reportedly delivered, in which he claimed that “hate for Jews and their horrible crimes” was the driving force behind the assault.
He further implied that Jews supported violence and hate towards Muslims in the papers.
He reportedly added, “Let’s be conscious of the fact that the Jews foment the most enmity towards Muslimeen even in the west.”
As a result of the threat, which the FBI subsequently said to have been “mitigated,” there was a heightened police presence at Jewish places of worship in New Jersey earlier this month.
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 defendant, who is accused of sending a manifesto online that included a threat to assault a synagogue because of his hate of Jews, was charged with a federal crime. We responded quickly, in conjunction with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, to the reported danger.
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.
A federal magistrate will hear his case later on Thursday. He faces up to five years in jail if he is found guilty.