‘Developing Threat’ to New York City’s Jewish Community Thwarted With Arrests of Armed Men at Penn Station
November 20, 2022
Law enforcement authorities in New York City detected and thwarted a “developing threat to the Jewish community” over the weekend.
“By early Saturday, the NYPD’s exhaustive intelligence-gathering led to the arrest by sharp-eyed MTA police officers of two individuals entering Penn Station, in Manhattan, and the seizures of a large hunting knife, an illegal Glock 17 firearm and 30-round magazine, and several other items,” New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell stated.
“As a joint investigation now continues to establish a strong prosecution, Police Department commanders are strategically deploying assets at sensitive locations throughout New York City,” she added.
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
The arrested men were identified as Christopher Brown, 21, of Aquebogue, New York, and Matthew Mahrer, 22, of Manhattan.
Brown is being charged with making a terroristic threat, aggravated harassment, and criminal possession of a weapon, and Mahrer faces a single charge of criminal possession of a weapon.
Breaking – NYPD arrest Matthew Mahrer, 22 and Christopher Brown, 21 at Penn Station after the men made threats to New York Synagogues.
The men, one wearing a swastika armband, were in possession of firearm, 30 rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife. pic.twitter.com/btDqiZ6vsD
— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) November 19, 2022
According to a CNN report, threats began appearing on a Twitter account on Nov. 12 and were traced on Friday to a computer at a veterinary clinic where one of the suspects worked.
“Gonna ask a priest if I should become a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die,” one post allegedly read, and another was said to refer to “big moves being made on Friday.”
At Penn Station last night, MTA police officers caught two men who were wanted in connection with threats to the Jewish community.
We are thankful for the quick work of the two officers and the successful collaboration between our City, State and federal partners. pic.twitter.com/MCCeikSS7l
— MTA (@MTA) November 19, 2022
New York Governor Kathy Hochul thanked Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) police on Saturday for their “vigilance and heroic work.”
Earlier this year I increased @nyspolice’s commitment to tracking domestic violent extremism on social media.⁰
Today, their vigilance & heroic work by @MTA police officers helped stop a threat to our Jewish communities.
Grateful to law enforcement for keeping New Yorkers safe. https://t.co/QDnGYfJxxv
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) November 19, 2022
Last week, an 18-year-old New Jersey man, Omar Alkattoul, was arrested in connection with the publication of an online manifesto containing threats to attack a synagogue and Jews.