According to a public criminal complaint released Sunday after his arraignment, one of the men detained in connection with an alleged threat to assault synagogues in New York City admitted to authorities that he runs a white supremacist Twitter group that he described as “very great.”
Authorities reported that 21-year-old Christopher Brown was detained on Saturday for allegedly threatening Jewish community members in New York City. Police sources claim that the individual from Suffolk County, New York, made a string of alarming claims about attacking a synagogue in New York City.2 Arrested After Threats to New York Jewish Community
According to the complaint, Brown told officers, “I have a sick personality,” and tweeted antisemitic threats using the handle “VrilKhan.” The threat wasn’t directed at a particular synagogue, according to the NYPD counterterrorism unit and FBI officials who discovered it on Friday.
A photo of the man, Brown, was included in an intelligence notice that said the suspect had allegedly “made recent threats to unknown Jewish Synagogues in the New York Area.” According to NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, “sharp-eyed” MTA police officers saw the man entering Penn Station in Manhattan on Saturday with another person before discovering him there brandishing a knife.
When Brown was detained at Penn Station by two MTA police officers, police stated he had met another guy, Matthew Mahrer, 22, inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral and had just bought a gun for $650 in Pennsylvania. According to law authorities, Brown had a ski mask, a Swastika arm patch, and an 8-inch military-style knife with a 4-inch blade.
According to sources, a Glock 17 illegal pistol was discovered during a subsequent search of a residence the suspect had visited. Police said they found various items during the investigation, including a 30-round magazine.
Today, we’re extremely grateful to NYPD investigators and our law enforcement partners who uncovered and stopped a threat to our Jewish community. This morning’s arrests in Penn Station and weapon seizures are proof of their vigilance & collaboration that keeps New Yorkers safe. pic.twitter.com/p7ptKPgBSj
— Commissioner Sewell (@NYPDPC) November 19, 2022
Sewell added, “Police Department commanders are strategically deploying assets at sensitive areas throughout New York City as a collaborative investigation now continues to create a solid prosecution.”
According to authorities, Brown, of Aquebogue, New York, has been charged with aggravated harassment, making a terroristic threat, and criminal possession of a weapon. He entered a not-guilty plea at his arraignment and was ordered jailed without bond. According to authorities, Mahrer, from Manhattan, has also been charged with criminal possession of a firearm with the event.
Mahrer entered a not-guilty plea to the allegations, including using weapons. There was a $150,000 bond set. According to sources, federal prosecutors are still considering filing additional accusations. It is unknown whether the two men have a lawyer to represent them.
Given that internet postings suggested a desire to use these weapons against a Manhattan synagogue, a potential tragedy was avoided when they were stopped by police at Penn Station, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Synagogues being targeted by hateful antisemites is regrettable.
The charges came more than two weeks after the FBI issued an alert on Twitter warning of a “broad threat” to synagogues in New Jersey and advising people to “remain vigilant” and “take all security precautions.”
Later, the FBI claimed to have traced the threat’s origin to a synagogue in the New Jersey region. According to sources, authorities recognised there was no threat after locating the young man. The Justice Department reported that an 18-year-old Sayreville, New Jersey, a man was subsequently detained and charged with one count of communicating a threat in interstate and foreign commerce.