By Joe Bukuras
An 18-year-old New Jersey resident has been arrested in connection with threats to synagogues and Jewish centers after he shared a document on social media taking credit for an attack that he said was motivated by “hatred toward Jews.”
Omar Alkattoul of Sayreville was arrested Thursday morning by federal authorities and charged with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce.
If convicted, Alkattoul could serve up to five years in prison and could be fined up to $250,000. The case is being prosecuted in Newark federal court.
According to a Nov. 10 press release from the U.S. attorney’s office for the district of New Jersey, documents filed in the case and statements made in court indicate that Alkattoul made his threats on social media Nov. 1.
Alkattoul sent a document that he wrote, titled “When Swords Collide,” to an individual on a social media app, according to the press release. Referring to the document, Alkattoul told the individual that “it’s in the context of an attack on Jews,” according to the press release.
Another individual said that the document was sent to at least five other people, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Alkattoul’s document says, “I am the attacker and I would like to introduce myself … I am a Muslim with so many regrets but I can assure you this attack is not one of them and Insha’Allah many more attacks like these against the enemy of Allah and the pigs and monkeys will come.”
“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. … So the motive of this attack is hatred towards Jews and their heinous acts and I don’t want anyone to tell me for a second that ‘not all Jews support terror against Muslims’ yes they do! They have since day one. Their Torah justifies their acts and let’s keep in mind it was a Jew that tried to kill the nebi SAW,” the document says.
A criminal complaint filed by the FBI shows that Alkattoul sent private messages to an individual expressing his approval of Dylann Roof, the South Carolina man who shot and killed nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation during a Bible study session.
In the messages, Alkattoul called the victims of the massacre the “n” word and also called them “christcucks.” He said that Muslims in the West should learn from Roof, according to the complaint.
The complaint showed that Alkattoul’s document also praised radical Islamic terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In the complaint, messages between Alkattoul and another individual show that Alkattoul considered attacking a gay nightclub.
A journalist for Eyewitness News ABC7NY who was in the courtroom with Alkattoul reported Nov. 10 that, as part of the complaint, “one of the things that the suspect talked about just last week was murdering all of the freshmen at his school in Sayreville.”
The journalist reported that the local authorities in Sayreville are cooperating with the FBI. The journalist also reported that “we did learn in court this afternoon that the suspect wanted to cut the throats of Jews and Christians.”
News of “a broad threat to synagogues” in New Jersey broke last week when the FBI’s Newark office put an alert out on Twitter.
“Stay alert. In case of emergency call police,” the agency tweeted. “We are taking a proactive measure with this warning while investigative processes are carried out.”
Local media reported that there was a notable police presence around synagogues across the state.
“No one should be targeted for violence or with acts of hate because of how they worship,” U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said in the press release.
“There is nothing the U.S. Attorney’s Office takes more seriously than threats to our communities of faith and places of worship. Protection of these communities is core to this office’s mission, and this office will devote whatever resources are necessary to keep our Jewish community and all New Jersey residents safe,” Sellinger said.