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‘Shooting Up a Synagogue’ Threat Sparks Frantic NYC Manhunt

When the police arrested 22 years old Christopher Brown early Saturday morning, he was wearing a black T-shirt with the words “I have a gun and I have schizophrenia.” He was carrying a bag that was found to contain a hunting knife, a black woolen scarf and an armband with a symbol of hatred.

“A Nazi swastika,” a police official told The Daily Beast.

Earlier in the week, the NYPD Intelligence Division noted that an individual with Twitter accounts VrilKhan and Vrilgod had mixed incel posts with content talking about armor, gun training and “opening fire on a synagogue.” and die”.

“Big moves will be made on Friday,” the official said. “This time, I’m actually going to do it.”

Detectives traced the posts to an IP address associated with a veterinary hospital. They say they have identified Brown as someone who used the computer to talk about “big moves”. They traced him to physical addresses in Riverhead on Long Island and Dobbs Ferry in Westchester. But he was not in both locations.

Meanwhile, the police have issued Intelligence Alert #78340324, an internal BOLO (Warning Notice) for Brown. BOLO attached a photo of him and reported, “The individual listed above has recently made threats against unidentified synagogues in the New York area.”

BOLO reported some more things detectives say they learned while trying to locate him: “This person has a history of mental illness and has recently expressed an interest in going to NYC to buy a gun. Subject should be considered armed and dangerous.”

It was Friday, and detectives knew every moment could bring news that the tweets had turned into horror. The Joint Counterterrorism Task Force joined as the hunt for Brown continued to lead to an apartment on West 94th Street in Manhattan where a 22-year-old acquaintance named Matthew Mahrer lived with his parents. Neither Brown nor Mahrer were there, but detectives found a Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol and a 30-round magazine in the backpack.

Thankfully, there were no “big moves” as the hunt continued into the early hours of Saturday morning. Detectives received a tip that Brown and Mahrer were heading to Penn Station. Around 3 a.m., the keen-eyed Metropolitan Transportation Authority police spotted them there. Two people were taken into custody.

Mahrer was charged with illegal weapons possession. Brown was also charged with weapons. He could face other charges similar to those against 18-year-old Omar Alkattoul, who was arrested November 10 in New Jersey for “using social media to post a manifesto threatens to attack a synagogue based on his hatred of Jews. .”

Two of Brown’s Twitter accounts have been taken down. It is not clear whether he and Mahrer will hire an attorney.

Saturday’s arrest in New York shows that more than two decades after 9/11, the NYPD and JTTF are still on guard. And the nervous night ended without event.

“Even if it’s the biggest thing in the world, maybe not, but this thing could have turned into something if they didn’t stop it,” a police official said.

He added, “We’ll never know if that’s true. But it shows one thing for sure: They are at the top.”



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