18-year-old arrested for threat that prompted FBI warning for New Jersey synagogues

(NEW YORK) — An 18-year-old was arrested Thursday for allegedly transmitting an online threat that prompted warnings from the FBI of a broad threat to the Jewish community in New Jersey.

Last week’s threat — which the FBI later said had been “mitigated” — sent police scrambling to add extra patrols at New Jersey’s synagogues and Jewish centers.

Federal prosecutors in Newark have charged Omar Alkattoul of Sayreville, New Jersey, with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce.

“According to the complaint, this defendant used social media to send a manifesto containing a threat to attack a synagogue based on his hatred of Jews,” U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said Thursday.

According to the criminal complaint, Alkattoul posted on social media a link to a document he wrote entitled “When Swords Collide,” about an attack on Jews.

In the document, Alkattoul allegedly wrote, “The motive of this attack is hatred towards Jews and their heinous acts.”

He allegedly wrote: “I did target a synagogue for a really good reason according to myself and a lot of Muslims who have a brain. … This attack was just to remind the Jews that as long as 1 Muslim remains in this world they will never live a pleasant life until the Muslims in Palestine, Syria, West Africa, and South Asia are living a pleasant life. The Jews support terror against the muslimeen and they always have.”

Sellinger said, “No one should be targeted for violence or with acts of hate because of how they worship.”

Alkattoul is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate on Thursday. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

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