A man was arrested Saturday for allegedly making threats against New York City’s Jewish community, authorities said.
The 21-year-old man from Suffolk County, New York, has made a series of increasingly concerning statements about an attack on a synagogue in New York City, according to police sources.
The threat, discovered Friday by NYPD counterterrorism agents and FBI agents, did not involve any specific synagogue, police said.
An intelligence alert was issued with a photo of the man, identified as Christopher Brown, and stated that the person had reportedly “made recent threats to unknown Jewish synagogues in the New York area.”
“Sharp” MTA police officers saw the man enter Manhattan’s Penn Station Saturday with another individual, where he was found wielding a knife, according to NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
A subsequent search of an apartment the suspect was visiting turned up an illegal Glock 17 firearm, sources said.
A magazine containing 30 cartridges and several other items were seized during the search, police said.
“As a joint investigation now continues to establish strong prosecutions, police commanders are strategically deploying resources to sensitive locations in New York City,” Sewell said.
Brown, of Aquebogue, New York, has been charged with making a terrorist threat, aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
A second man, identified as Matthew Mahrer, 22, of Manhattan, has also been charged with criminal gun possession in connection with the incident, police said.
Federal prosecutors are still considering additional charges, sources said.
It is unclear whether the two men have a lawyer who can speak on their behalf.
The arrests come more than two weeks after the FBI announced on Twitter the “wide threat” to New Jersey synagogues, urging people to “remain alert” and “take all safety precautions.”
The FBI later said it identified the source of the threat against an unspecified synagogue in the New Jersey area. Once the young man was located, authorities realized there was no threat, sources said.
An 18-year-old man from Sayreville, New Jersey, was subsequently arrested and charged with conveying a threat in interstate and foreign commerce, the Justice Department said.