Man charged with online threat against synagogues | Way of life

NEWARK, NJ (AP) — A man accused of posting a broad threat online last week, which tightened security at synagogues and Jewish schools in New Jersey, expressed admiration for white supremacist mass murderer Dylann Roof and said his planned attack was in retaliation for the mosque shooting in 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand, federal prosecutors said while announcing a criminal. load Thursday.

Omar Alkattoul, 18, of Sayreville, is charged with conveying a threat in interstate and foreign commerce and was scheduled to make his first appearance in Newark court Thursday afternoon, where he will be represented by a federal public defender. This office does not generally comment on cases.

Alkattoul could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, Alkattoul expressed his hatred of Jews and admitted to posting online that “God has cursed the Jewish people and God should burn gay people.” He also told investigators he had researched how to get a gun, shooting ranges and mass shootings, but in the days leading up to publication his threat was ‘around ‘ 50/50′” on whether he would actually lead an attack.

Alkattoul reportedly framed his murder plan as “an act of revenge” for the deaths of Muslims, authorities said. They have previously said they don’t believe he has the wherewithal to carry out a specific attack.

In a series of online messages, Alkattoul said it would take him years to plan and gather resources to carry out an attack and that it would be in retaliation for the Christchurch attacks who killed more than 50 people, according to the complaint.

About Roof, which killed nine members of a black church congregation in South Carolina in 2015, Alkattoul reportedly said in a private message online that “many Muslims in the West should learn from him”.

Alkattoul used a social media app on Nov. 1 to send a link to a document titled “When Swords Collide,” according to prosecutors, and he admitted to the person he sent it to that he had writes the document, stating: “This is in the context of an attack on Jews. According to the second person, Alkattoul also sent the document to at least five other people using another social media application.

The FBI issued a statewide alert on November 3 and said a suspect had been identified the next day, but they did not identify him at that time. The warning prompted some municipalities in the state to send additional police to guard places of worship and schools.

Public warnings about threats against Jewish institutions, made by groups including Christian supremacists and Islamist extremists, are not unusual in the New York area, and many turn out to be false alarms.

But the region has also seen deadly attacks, including the bombings of two synagogues and an attack on a rabbi’s home in 2012, a fatal stabbing during a Hanukkah celebration in 2019 and a shooting in 2019 that killed three people at a kosher market and a police officer.

Outside of the New York area, the massacre that left 11 dead in Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh four years ago left an indelible mark.

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