NYPD Stops Threat to Jewish Community, Two Armed Men Arrested

This May 18, 2021 photo shows an escalator to the Amtrak train platform at Penn Station in New York. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

A “developing threat” to the New York City Jewish community was averted by the arrests of two armed men at Penn Station in Manhattan early Saturday morning, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement.

The threat was uncovered Friday by state and federal law enforcement, Sewell said.

Authorities “moved swiftly to gather information, identify those behind it, and operationally neutralize their ability to do harm,” Sewell’s statement read.

“By early Saturday, the NYPD’s exhaustive intelligence-gathering led to the arrest by sharp-eyed MTA police officers of two individuals entering Penn Station, in Manhattan, and the seizures of a large hunting knife, an illegal Glock 17 firearm and 30-round magazine, and several other items,” the statement said.

Police commanders are “strategically deploying assets at sensitive locations throughout New York City,” Sewell said.

One of the suspects who wax arrested, Christopher T. Brown, 22, was reported to have told his family that he was heading to New York City and would be purchasing a firearm with which he planned to attack shuls in the city. Flyers with his photo were distributed to Hatzalah and Shomrim members with an alert to be on the lookout for the suspect.

The other suspect, Matthew Mahrer, 22, was was in possession of an illegal gun, which was located in his home on the Upper West Side, and Brown was in possession of the hunting knife.

With the arrest of the suspects, the NYPD said that the current threat has been averted.

Both suspects are facing gun and weapons charges.

Just over a week ago, an 18-year-old from New Jersey was arrested and charged with posting a broad threat against synagogues in the state.

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