Two men cuffed for plotting terrorist attack against Manhattan Jewish community: DA

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Two people were indicted in Manhattan on a slew of charges for making terroristic threats to the borough’s Jewish community.

Long Island resident Christopher Brown and Manhattan resident Matthew Mahrer were arrested on Nov. 18 at Penn Station. Brown and Mahrer are each charged with one count of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree; two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree; one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree; and one count of Criminal Possession of a Firearm.

Brown also charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree as a Crime of Terrorism; one count of Making a Terroristic Threat; one count of Making a Terroristic Threat as a Hate Crime; and one Count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree.

“A horrific tragedy was averted thanks to the diligence, hard work and coordination between my Office and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners. The increase in antisemitic attacks and threats cannot and will not be tolerated. Manhattanites and all New Yorkers should know that we continue to vigorously prosecute hate crimes every day and are using every tool at our disposal to address hate and bias,” said District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr.

According to court documents, on Nov. 18, 2022, Brown allegedly posted several threatening Twitter posts, including “Gonna ask a Priest if I should become a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die,” and ‘This time I’m really gonna do it.” To further this plot, Brown allegedly paid Mahrer $650 to get a firearm from Pennsylvania.

When the two were arrested, MTA police recovered a knife, a Swastika armband and a ski mask from Brown’s backpack. A backpack that contained the firearm that Mahrer allegedly purchased, as well as an extended magazine and 19 rounds of ammunition, was recovered from Mahrer’s apartment.

“Protecting all New Yorkers is paramount, and this case illustrates the NYPD’s continued commitment to fight terrorism and hate in every form,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “Through the focused, collective efforts of the NYPD and our many law enforcement partners we were able to uncover, investigate, and, most importantly, stop a threat to our Jewish community. We will never tolerate hate in our city, and we vow to hold accountable anyone who threatens the safety and security of our diverse population.”