Man arrested for alleged threats to New York’s Jewish community
A man was arrested Saturday for allegedly making threats against New York’s Jewish community, authorities said.
The 21-year-old man from Suffolk County, New York has made a series of increasingly concerning statements regarding the attack on a New York synagogue, according to law enforcement sources.
The threat, which was uncovered Friday by NYPD counterterrorism officers and FBI agents, did not implicate any particular synagogue, police said.
An intelligence alert was issued which included a photo of the man, identified as Christopher Brown, and said the individual allegedly “recently threatened unknown Jewish synagogues in the New York area.”
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said “sharp-eyed” MTA officers spotted the man entering Penn Station in Manhattan with another individual on Saturday, where he was found with a knife.
A subsequent search of an apartment the suspect visited revealed an illegal Glock 17 firearm, sources said.
A 30-round magazine and several other items were seized during the search, police said.
“As a joint investigation now continues to establish a solid prosecution, police department commanders are strategically deploying assets to sensitive locations in New York City,” Sewell said.
Brown, of Aquebogue, New York, has been charged with threatening terrorism, aggravated harassment and felony possession of a weapon, police said.
A second man, identified as Matthew Mahrer, 22, of Manhattan, has also been charged with criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the incident, police said.
Federal prosecutors are still considering additional charges, sources said.
It is not known whether the two men have an attorney who can speak on their behalf.
The arrests come more than two weeks after the FBI announced the “broad threat” to New Jersey synagogues on Twitter and urged people to “stay alert” and “take all safety precautions.”
The FBI later said it identified the source of the threat made against an unspecified synagogue in the New Jersey area. Once the young man was located, authorities realized there was no threat, sources said.
An 18-year-old man from Sayreville, New Jersey, was later arrested and charged with one count of transmitting threat in interstate and foreign commerce, the Justice Department said.