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New Jersey teen charged after Islamist manifesto threatened synagogue attack

Hoboken Police officers stand watch outside the United Synagogue of Hoboken, in Hoboken, New Jersey, Nov. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Ryan Kryska)
Hoboken Police officers stand watch outside the United Synagogue of Hoboken, in Hoboken, New Jersey, Nov. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Ryan Kryska)

US Federal prosecutors arrest and charge a New Jersey teenager with extremist Islamist views for making the threat that led to a sweeping FBI warning for the state’s synagogues last week.

Omar Alkattoul, 18, of Sayreville, New Jersey, is charged with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce for an extremist manifesto he shared on November 1 on an undisclosed social media network. He faces up to five years in prison.

Alkattoul had pledged allegiance to the leader of ISIS and researched past mass shootings and how to obtain firearms, according to the criminal complaint against him filed today by the US Attorney’s Office in New Jersey. The complaint alleges that Alkattoul published a manifesto online that had been written as though he had already carried out an attack.

The detection of his manifesto caused the FBI to warn the Jewish community in New Jersey, which immediately activated security protocols at communal institutions. A day later, the FBI said the threat had been eliminated.

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