2 men arrested in connection with ‘recent threats’ against New York synagogues

Two suspects, armed with a gun and a knife, were arrested Saturday morning in Manhattan in connection with threats made against New York-area synagogues, authorities said.

The men were taken into custody as they entered Penn Station, the New York Police Department said. The two men were armed with a hunting knife, an illegal Glock 17 firearm and a 30-round magazine, police said.

A source familiar with the investigation told CBS News that a Nazi armband was found during the arrests.

The suspects, who were spotted and arrested by Metropolitan Transportation Authority officers, have been identified by the NYPD as 21-year-old Christopher Brown and 22-year-old Matthew Mahrer.

Brown is charged with terrorism threats and aggravated harassment, while Mahrer faces charges of aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a weapon, police told CBS News.

The situation began on Friday, police say, when FBI and NYPD investigators uncovered a “developing threat to the Jewish community.”

The agencies released a police bulletin identifying Brown as a wanted person of interest in connection with “recent threats made against unknown Jewish synagogues in the New York area.”

Brown, a diagnosed schizophrenic, had “recently informed his family of his interest in traveling to New York and purchasing a gun,” police said in the bulletin. According to police, Brown is from the community of Aquebogue on Long Island, while Mahrer is a resident of Manhattan.

The exact details of the threats were not immediately disclosed.

“Today, we are extremely grateful to the NYPD investigators and our law enforcement partners who uncovered and stopped a threat to our Jewish community,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell. tweeted. “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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