New Jersey Man Charged With Threatening To Attack Synagogues

New Jersey Man Charged With Threatening To Attack Synagogues

According to federal authorities, an 18-year-old New Jersey man was detained on Thursday after posting a manifesto online in which he threatened to destroy a synagogue and Jews. According to a federal complaint and a statement from Philip Sellinger, US Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Omar Alkattoul, a resident of Sayreville, is accused of communicating a threat in interstate and international commerce.

Alkattoul was held without bond when he appeared before US Magistrate Judge Jessica Allen in Newark on Thursday afternoon. He wasn’t prompted to plead. His public defender has been contacted by CNN for comment. If found guilty, Alkattoul might be sentenced to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the prosecution.

Sellinger stated in the statement that “no one should be subjected to violence or acts of hatred because of how they worship. The accusation claims that the defendant sent a manifesto threatening to harm a synagogue out of hatred for Jews through social media.

According to court documents, Alkattoul allegedly provided a link to the manifesto “When Swords Collide” on November 1 via social media and claimed to have written it “in the context of an attack on Jews.” The suspect wrote, “I am the attacker and I would like to announce myself,” according to court records.

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According to the lawsuit, Alkattoul claimed in the letter that he “did target a synagogue for a genuinely solid reason” and that “the objective of this attack is enmity against Jews and their horrific crimes.” Using an undisclosed social media platform, the suspect sent the document to a number of users, according to the authorities. One of those individuals alerted the authorities.

According to the complaint, Alkattoul admitted to writing the document while “live action role-playing” and “imagining being al-Qaeda and carrying out an assault.” Alkattoul was voluntarily sent to a hospital for a checkup after being questioned by law authorities, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, the suspect allegedly disclosed to a hospital employee that he had been in contact via social media “with someone he believed to be in al-Qaeda” and had informed them of his intention to “bomb up a synagogue” in the future.

An FBI notice was sparked by an online anti-Semitic remark on a site that extremists frequently use, according to a CNN report from earlier this month concerning the widespread threat to synagogues in New Jersey.

The post was written as though an attack had already taken place, which sources said caused authorities to get concerned. According to sources, it had a key role in the urgency of finding the culprit and issuing a widespread warning to the Jewish community.

On November 3, the FBI’s Newark office tweeted that it had “reliable information of a broad threat to synagogues” throughout the state. Despite the absence of any reference to a specific target, timetable, or strategy, the post’s character raised enough suspicion that the FBI, acting out of an excess of caution, decided to issue a broad warning.

Antisemitic occurrences have increased in the US during the previous several years, from 942 instances in 2015 to 2,717 incidents monitored in 2021, according to the Anti-Defamation League.