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Sayreville Teen Admits Threatening to Attack Synagogue

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Sayreville NJ, A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man today admitted transmitting via the internet a manifesto containing threats to attack a synagogue and Jewish people, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Omar Alkattoul, 19, of Sayreville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert Kirsch in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce on or about Nov. 1, 2022.

“This defendant admitted using social media to send a manifesto containing a threat to attack a synagogue based on his hatred of Jews. This prompted a state-wide alert and put the community on edge, ” U.S. Attorney Sellinger said. “Alkattoul will now face sentencing for his crime, and we intend to seek a sentence that will hold him accountable. No one should be targeted for violence or with acts of hate because of how they worship. Protecting our communities of faith and places of worship is at the heart of this office’s mission.”

“The laws of our nation allow for everyone to express themselves,” FBI-Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy said. “However, when that expression turns into a specific threat toward others, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies must take action. We allege Alkattoul posted and planned to carry out his online manifesto targeting synagogues in our communities, and specifically stated it was an intended attack on Jews. I want to commend the incredibly quick response by the Newark Joint Terrorism Task Force and our partners. Crime driven by hate has no place in our society.”

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Nov. 1, 2022, Alkattoul used a social media application to send an individual a link to a document entitled “When Swords Collide” and admitted to this individual that he wrote the document. He admitted targeting a synagogue. He stated in the document: “It’s in the context of an attack on Jews.” According to a second individual, Alkattoul also sent the document to at least five other people using another social media application.

The charge of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce to which Alkattoul pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 14, 2023.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI and task force officers of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked agents of the FBI Field Office in Tampa, Florida, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge David Walker; the FBI Field Office in New York, under the direction of Assistant Director in Charge James Smith; and the FBI Washington Field Office, under the direction of Assistant Director in Charge Steven D’Antuono; as well as the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, under the direction of Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin; the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone; and officers of the Sayreville Police Department, under the direction of Chief Daniel Plumacker.

The government is represented by Christopher Amore, Co-Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s General Crimes Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s National Security Unit, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division.


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