Middlesex teenager arrested on threats to attack a Jewish synagogue

Winding Wood apartments in Sayreville, New Jersey.

Winding Wood apartments in Sayreville, New Jersey.

A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man was arrested today for transmitting via the internet a manifesto containing threats to attack a synagogue and Jewish people that set off alarms among the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New Jersey State Police, the state Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the Division of Criminal Justice, the 21 county prosecutors, and law enforcement officials.

Omar Alkattoul, 18, of Sayreville, New Jersey, was arrested this morning and is charged by complaint with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce on or about Nov. 1, 2022. He is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen in Newark federal court.

“No one should be targeted for violence or with acts of hate because of how they worship,” said U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger. “According to the complaint, this defendant used social media to send a manifesto containing a threat to attack a synagogue based on his hatred of Jews.”

The defendant’s 64-year-old father, Mousa Alkattoul, told The Daily Beast that federal agents showed up at the family’s Sayreville home at around 6 a.m.

“I don’t know what is going on with these kids,” said Mousa Alkattoul. “Omar is [a] very nice boy, but he was talking with bad people on the internet… We don’t know exactly what Omar did… but it is something against Jews, he told me.”

“Along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we acted swiftly to respond to the alleged threat,” said Sellinger. “There is nothing the U.S. Attorney’s Office takes more seriously than threats to our communities of faith and places of worship. Protection of these communities is core to this office’s mission, and this office will devote whatever resources are necessary to keep our Jewish community and all New Jersey residents safe.”

“When we learn of credible threats to our community – whether based in hate toward religion, race, sexual orientation, or gender – we call on law enforcement and community partners to assist in identifying and mitigating that threat,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy. “Thanks to the collaborative efforts among our Joint Terrorism Task Force Members, a potentially harmful situation was averted.”

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Alkattoul used a social media application to send an individual a link to a document entitled “When Swords Collide” on Nov. 1, 2022.

Alkattoul admitted to the individual that he wrote the document, stating: “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.

“I am the attacker and I would like to introduce myself. . . I am a Muslim with so many regrets but I can assure you this attack is not one of them and Insha’Allah many more attacks like these against the enemy of Allah and the pigs and monkeys will come,” Alkattoul wrote in the document. “

“I will discuss my motives in a bit but I did target a synagogue for a really good reason according to myself and a lot of Muslims who have a brain,” Alkattoul wrote in the document. “Let’s be aware of the fact that the Jews promote the biggest hatred against Muslimeen even in the west. The Jews are in fact a very powerful group in the west which is why western countries today shill for them on top of the murtadeen in Saudi Arabia and every Arab country.”

“This attack was just to remind the Jews that as long as 1 Muslim remains in this world they will never live a pleasant life until the Muslims in Palestine, Syria, West Africa, and South Asia are living a pleasant life,” Alkattoul wrote in the document. “The Jews support terror against the muslimeen and they always have . . . . So the motive of this attack is hatred towards Jews and their heinous acts and I don’t want anyone to tell me for a second that ‘not all Jews support terror against Muslims’ yes they do! They have since day one. Their Torah justifies their acts and let’s keep in mind it was a Jew that tried to kill the nebi SAW.”

Sellinger said the charge of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

When the FBI alerted him to the threat, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin called upon New Jersey residents to be extra vigilant and if you see suspicious activity please report it to your local authorities without delay.

“We continue to work together to keep New Jersey safe, and let those who would bring harm to the residents of this State know that New Jersey will not be home to hate, intolerance or violence,” said Platkin.

“Each and every law enforcement agency in New Jersey stood up yesterday to protect and communicate with our Jewish neighbors against hate,” said Platkin the following day.

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