Two men ― one in a Nazi armband ― were arrested at New York City’s Pennsylvania Station in connection with online threats to New York City’s synagogues, multiple police sources said Saturday.
The investigation led to the seizure of weapons, including a large hunting knife, a Glock 17 handgun and a 30-round magazine, New York Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said in a statement.
Federal and local authorities “uncovered a developing threat to the Jewish community on Friday and moved swiftly to gather information, identify those behind it, and operationally neutralize their ability to do harm,” Sewell said.
The FBI and New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Joint Terrorism Task Force, the NYPD Counterterrorism and Intelligence Bureau and other law enforcement partners were all involved in the investigation.
Threats against New York synagogues began appearing on a Twitter account on Nov. 12, according to law enforcement sources consulted by CNN. One message reportedly referenced “big moves” happening Friday, which led to “frantic efforts” to track down the individual, CNN reported.
Police issued a bulletin warning officers to be on the lookout for Christopher Brown, 22; MTA police officers then spotted Brown at the midtown Manhattan train station wearing a Nazi armband.
Brown was charged with making a terroristic threat, aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a weapon. The New York Post reported that he had a history of schizophrenia.
Police also arrested his friend Matthew Mahrer, 22, on a charge of criminal possession of a weapon.
The Glock 17 was found at an apartment on the Upper West Side.
No specific synagogues had been threatened, an NYPD spokesperson told HuffPost, but authorities still said they would “strategically deploy assets at sensitive locations” throughout the city.
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