Law enforcement authorities in New York said they arrested two men in a move they say ended “a growing threat to the Jewish community”.
The New York Police Department and federal law enforcement said in a statement Saturday that authorities uncovered a threat to the Jewish community that allegedly involved a threat to a synagogue that led to the arrest of two men at Penn Station in New York. WNYW-TV reported.
“Early Saturday, the NYPD’s exhaustive intelligence gathering led to the arrest by sharp-eyed MTA officers of two individuals entering Penn Station, Manhattan, and the seizure of a large hunting knife, an illegal Glock 17 firearm and a 30-round rifle, magazine, and several other items,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said of the arrest of two men on Saturday morning.
“As a joint investigation now continues to establish a solid prosecution, police department commanders are strategically deploying assets to sensitive locations in New York City.”
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The two men arrested were Christopher Brown, 21, and Matthew Mahrer, 22, the NYPD confirmed to Fox News Digital.
The department confirmed that Brown was charged with aggravated harassment, threatening terrorism and criminal possession of a weapon while Mahrer was charged with criminal possession of a weapon.
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Both men allegedly made threats against an undisclosed synagogue and Brown was in possession of an armband with a swastika on it, the New York Post reported.
“Today we are extremely grateful to the NYPD investigators and our law enforcement partners who uncovered and stopped a threat to our Jewish community,” the department wrote on Twitter. “This morning’s arrests at Penn Station and weapons seizures are proof of their vigilance and cooperation in keeping New Yorkers safe.”
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New York City has seen an upsurge in hate crimes targeting Jews, and the NYPD released figures earlier this year showing that the attacks increased by 300%.
Additionally, several high-profile attacks have taken place at synagogues across the country in recent years, including a massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which killed 11 people.