Law enforcement authorities in New York City say they have arrested two men in a move they believe stopped a “developing threat to the Jewish community.”
The New York Police Department, along with federal police, said in a statement Saturday that authorities discovered a threat to the Jewish community that allegedly involved a threat against a synagogue that led to the arrest of two men at Penn Station in New York. New York City. WNYW-TV reported.
“By early Saturday morning, the NYPD’s extensive intelligence gathering led to the arrest by sharp-eyed MTA police officers of two people entering Penn Station in Manhattan and the seizure of a large hunting knife, an illegal Glock 17 firearm and 30 rounds magazine and various other items,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said of the arrests of two men Saturday morning.
“While a joint investigation to establish strong prosecution continues, Police Department commanders are strategically deploying assets to sensitive locations throughout New York City.”
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The two men arrested were Christopher Brown, 21, and Matthew Mahrer, 22, the NYPD confirmed to Fox News Digital.
The department confirmed that Brown has been charged with aggravated harassment, terroristic threats and criminal possession of a weapon, while Mahrer has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon.
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The two men reportedly threatened an undisclosed synagogue and Brown was in possession of a swastika bracelet, the New York Post reported.
“Today, we are extremely grateful to the NYPD investigators and our law enforcement partners who discovered and stopped a threat to our Jewish community,” the department posted on Twitter. “This morning’s arrests at Penn Station and weapons seizures are proof of your vigilance and partnership that keeps New Yorkers safe.”
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New York City has seen a rise in hate crimes against Jews, and the NYPD released figures earlier this year showing that attacks they went up 300%.
In addition, in recent years there have been several high-profile attacks on synagogues across the country. including a massacre in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, synagogue that killed 11.