Two males, one a descendant of a Holocaust survivor, indicted over risk of assault on New York synagogue


A grand jury has indicted two males — one in every of whom is Jewish and a descendant of a Holocaust survivor — in reference to a web-based risk final month to assault a synagogue in New York Metropolis.

Christopher Brown and Matthew Mahrer had been each indicted on conspiracy and weapons expenses. Brown was additionally accused of committing terrorist threats as a hate crime and possession of a weapon as a terrorist crime, amongst different expenses.

Mahrer, who had beforehand secured bail, appeared in New York Supreme Courtroom Wednesday, with relations in attendance. He’s Jewish and his grandfather is a Holocaust survivor, protection lawyer Brandon Freycinet mentioned in court docket, including that his shopper wouldn’t wish to hurt his personal individuals.

Each defendants pleaded not responsible to the fees on Wednesday. Brown faces as much as 25 years in jail and Mahrer faces as much as 15 years in jail if convicted of the extra critical cost.

The 2 had been arrested by Metropolitan Transportation Authority officers as they had been coming into Manhattan’s Penn Station on Nov. 19, in accordance with NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell.

The suspects allegedly possessed a firearm, a high-capacity journal, a military-style looking knife, a Nazi swastika arm patch, a balaclava and a bulletproof vest, officers mentioned.

“A horrific tragedy was averted by diligence, arduous work and coordination between my workplace and our native, state and federal legislation enforcement companions,” Manhattan District Lawyer Alvin Bragg mentioned Wednesday. “The rise in anti-Semitic assaults and threats can not and won’t be tolerated. Manhattanites and all New Yorkers ought to know that we proceed to vigorously prosecute hate crimes day by day and are utilizing each software at our disposal to handle hate and prejudice.”

New York state leads the nation in anti-Semitic incidents, with not less than 416 reported in 2021, together with not less than 51 assaults, essentially the most ever recorded by the Anti-Defamation League in New York. There have been 12 reported assaults in 2020, the ADL mentioned in an audit final week.

A complete of two,717 anti-Semitic incidents had been reported nationwide final 12 months, a 34 p.c improve from 2,026 in 2020, in accordance with the ADL. The ADL has been monitoring such incidents since 1979, and its earlier experiences discovered that anti-Semitism in America has been on the rise for years.

The indictment comes the identical day that Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, held a panel dialogue on anti-Semitism on the White Home throughout which he warned of an “epidemic of hatred plaguing our nation.”

An announcement of details from the prosecution and the prison cost supply a timeline of the lads’s actions and allege they drove from New York to Pennsylvania to acquire a firearm.

The paperwork mentioned Brown despatched out a collection of disturbing tweets Nov. 12-17, together with one which learn, “I will ask a priest if I ought to get married or shoot up a synagogue and die.”

Name logs present Brown and Mahrer communicated with one another over the telephone and went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York Metropolis on Nov. 18, the paperwork mentioned. Surveillance footage confirmed Brown was sporting a backpack that police later found contained a knife, swastika bracelet and balaclava, the paperwork mentioned.

The 2 males later met a 3rd particular person and, in a recorded telephone name with an inmate, mentioned they had been on their technique to Pennsylvania to get a firearm, the indictment mentioned. Brown despatched Mahrer $650 and Mahrer then despatched $700 to this third particular person, the paperwork mentioned.

Later that evening, surveillance footage exhibits Brown and Mahrer coming into the Higher West Aspect constructing the place Mahrer lives, the paperwork mentioned. Mahrer is seen on video sporting a camouflage backpack which police later recovered; the backpack contained a firearm, a large-capacity ammunition feeder and 19 rounds of ammunition, in accordance with the paperwork.

This third particular person, Jamil Hakime, was arrested final Friday on expenses of conspiracy to interact in interstate transportation of a firearm, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon, and interstate transportation of a ‘weapon. He stays in federal custody following a detention listening to held the day he was arrested, in accordance with court docket paperwork. CNN has reached out to its court-appointed lawyer for remark.

Brown and Mahrer aren’t named within the federal criticism and face no federal expenses, however their identities had been confirmed to CNN by a spokesman for the Southern District of New York.

Hakime drove Mahrer and Brown in his Vary Rover Nov. 18 to a house he owned in Pennsylvania the place they obtained a handgun and ammunition from him, the federal criticism alleges.

Whereas within the automotive they talked to somebody on a wire taped from a state detention facility about buying firearms, federal and state prosecutors say. Hakime instructed the incarcerated person that he “took over (his he) his place” of their condominium constructing — what legislation enforcement officers say is a reference to his firearms trafficking actions, in accordance with the federal criticism .

Hakime finally dropped the couple off at Mahrer’s Higher West Aspect residence that evening.

Mahrer’s member of the family found the gun and ammunition in his bed room shortly thereafter and reported it to legislation enforcement, in accordance with the federal criticism. The member of the family voluntarily handed the backpack over to legislation enforcement on the condominium later that evening.

Days later, Hakime was photographed leaving his condominium constructing with black trash baggage. The criticism alleges that he was erasing all proof of his trafficking operation and deliberate to cover out at his Pennsylvania residence after studying that Mahrer was “in hassle,” in accordance with a recorded phone dialog cited within the criticism.