Christopher Brown: Antisemitic man behind NYC synagogue threat planned to use gun to 'blow' his brains out
Christopher Brown allegedly told officers that he operates a White supremacist group and owns Nazi paraphernalia because 'it is really cool'
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: New information has come to light regarding the arrest of the two individuals who intended to target synagogues in New York City. In connection with their preparations to harm members of New York's Jewish community, Matthew Mahrer, 22, and Christopher Brown, 21, were reportedly arrested. At the time of their arrest, the two had a "high-capacity" magazine, ammo, a "military-style" knife, and Nazi relics, as per Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Brown allegedly informed investigators that he operates an online White supremacist group and owns Nazi paraphernalia because he thought “it is really cool", according to court filings. Before being apprehended with the gun, a 9mm Glock, that they had allegedly paid $650 for in Pennsylvania, the two had met outside St Patrick's Cathedral on November 18 as reported by Daily Mail. Mahrer and Brown even traveled to Pennsylvania together for the sale, according to assistant district attorney Emilio Hernandez, and they had intended to use it in an attack at a synagogue. “The FBI/NYPD task force first became aware of threats to the Jewish community on Friday night and moved swiftly to gather information, identify those behind it and operationally neutralize their ability to do harm,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement.
When asked about the attacks and the gun, Brown allegedly responded that he has "a sick personality," according to a criminal complaint acquired by the New York Post. “I was going to be a coward and blow my brains out with it,” Brown allegedly told police after his arrest. Brown purportedly said in a now-deleted tweet on his social media profile on November 17, “Gonna ask a priest if I should become a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die.” Additionally, the 21-year-old admitted to authorities that Mahrer was "a follower" of his. “It took me three years to finally buy the gun. Matt is one of my followers. I have Nazi paraphernalia in my house. I think it's really cool,” Brown allegedly told police, according to the complaint.
“I also operate a white supremacist Twitter group,” Brown added. Brown has been charged with six counts of having guns in his possession in addition to the terrorist threat allegation. He is detained without bail. Mahrer also remains in custody on a $150,000 bail.
The man had come to the attention of the authorities after tweeting ominous and worrying things, including an alleged message in which he claimed to be making "big moves on Friday." He allegedly tweeted the following on his social media page, “This time I'm really gonna do it.” Additionally, the accused allegedly made a video of himself announcing his intention to "brutally murder people with hatchets and whatnot." After Mahrer's parents were apprehended, authorities discovered a revolver and a bulletproof vest inside their apartment where they shared a home. “Hateful anti-Semitic targeting of synagogues is deplorable,” Bragg said. “The Manhattan DA's office will now pursue accountability and justice in this case with the full resources of our counter-terrorism problem and recently enhanced and expanded hate crimes unit.”