Two men were detained on Saturday in connection with online threats to assault a synagogue in New York City, according to a tip from a Jewish security organization.
According to a UJA representative, the Jewish Community Relations Council and UJA-Federation of New York’s Community Security Initiative uncovered threatening tweets and reported them to law authorities on Friday morning.
On Monday, UJA CEO Eric Goldstein held a press conference at City Hall and stated that after sharing the information with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department, law enforcement “quickly leaped into action.”
Michael Mahrer, 22, of Manhattan, and Christopher Brown, 21, of Aquebogue, on eastern Long Island, were detained by Metropolitan Transit Authority police officers at Penn Station, according to New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
He added that they had “an alleged plan to murder members of the Jewish community in our city.”
This was not an idle threat,” Adams said.
“This was a real threat,” Adams added.
In response to the arrest and the fatal shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado on Saturday, Governor Kathy Hochul declared that state police would step up their monitoring and protection of synagogues and other sensitive locations.
At the press conference, Flatbush Shomrim’s Steve Weill said that he received a call on Friday night from NYPD Inspector Ritchie Taylor, an Orthodox Jew, informing him that there was “a genuine danger to the community.”
Before that strategy was put into action, the suspects were apprehended.
Weill stated that Adams and the Jewish community have “exceptional relations.”