2 arrested at Penn Station in probe of risk to Jewish neighborhood

Two males with entry to weapons had been arrested at New York Metropolis’s Penn Station early Saturday in reference to a probe of threats to the Jewish neighborhood, authorities mentioned.

Searches of the suspects, their belongings, and a residence turned up a Glock semiautomatic handgun, a big searching knife, and a swastika armband, two senior legislation enforcement sources mentioned.

The suspects had been named by the New York Police Division as Christopher Brown, 21, of Aquebogue, New York, booked on suspicion of creating a terrorist risk, aggravated harassment, and felony possession of a weapon; and Matthew Mahrer, 22, of town’s Higher West Aspect, booked on suspicion of felony possession of a weapon.

It wasn’t instantly clear if the suspects have retained authorized counsel. The general public defender’s workplace for the world didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The senior legislation enforcement sources mentioned Brown had the swastika armband on him when he was arrested on the practice station.

The pair was arrested after MTA police, briefed by the multi-jurisdiction Joint Terrorism Process Power on the threats probe, noticed and detained the pair at Penn Station, MTA Police Chief John Mueller mentioned in an announcement.

“After stopping and positively figuring out the individuals of curiosity, the MTA PD officers carried out a search and recovered a big searching knife,” he mentioned.

NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell mentioned in an announcement that authorities first recognized “a growing risk to the Jewish neighborhood” Friday.

The joint process pressure shortly moved to “collect data, establish these behind it, and operationally neutralize their skill to do hurt,” he mentioned.

Three legislation enforcement sources mentioned threats in opposition to the Jewish neighborhood had been posted on-line. The arrests preceded a search of one of many suspects’ residence, the place the Glock handgun, in addition to a 30-round journal, had been discovered, these sources mentioned.

Each suspects had been seen getting into and exiting that residence, the legislation enforcement sources mentioned.

Investigators had been in discussions about whether or not federal expenses would possibly apply to the case, they mentioned.

The NYPD praised the “sharp-eyed MTA cops” who noticed the suspects early Saturday. 

“In the present day, we’re extraordinarily grateful to NYPD investigators and our legislation enforcement companions who uncovered and stopped a risk to our Jewish neighborhood,” Sewell tweeted Saturday.

Police mentioned they weren’t standing down.

“Police division commanders are strategically deploying belongings at delicate places all through New York Metropolis,” Sewell mentioned.

Anti-Defamation League New York leaders praised police in an announcement Saturday. The ADL mentioned it knew in regards to the risk and was working with authorities.

“This comes at a time of heightened sensitivity within the New York-area Jewish neighborhood,” the ADL leaders mentioned, referring to the arrest of a New Jersey teenager for alleged threats to a synagogue. “As at all times, we ask the neighborhood to stay vigilant.”

Michelle Acevedo, TJ Swigart and Brittany Kubicko contributed.

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