By: Yuritza Arroyo
A Middlesex County man admitted transmitting via the internet a manifesto containing threats to attack a synagogue and Jewish people, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
According to federal officials, Omar Alkattoul, 19, of Sayreville, pleaded guilty in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce on or about November 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 to 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.