NJ Man Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Threatening Synagogue

By Hamodia Staff

A New Jersey man whose online manifesto containing threats to a synagogue and Jews briefly raised fears of an imminent attack, was sentenced this week to 15 months in prison, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Omar Alkattoul, 19, of Sayreville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty last July to one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce.

Alkattoul allegedly used social media apps on Nov. 1, 2022, to post a link to a manifesto he wrote entitled “When Swords Collide.” The manifesto contains hate-filled diatribes of age-old antisemitic tropes, references to Jews as “swine and pigs,” support of terrorism and pledges of allegiance to Islamic State, and speaks of “an attack on Jews.”

In a section of the manifesto titled “Religion of Peace,” Alktattoul wrote, ”I support terrorism against the infidels and the enemies of the religion.”

Alkattoul received some positive feedback online, with some members of his social-media group responding that they were proud of him, and that he did a “good job.” But another member of the social media group alerted the FBI.

On Nov. 3, 2022, the FBI publicly warned of “credible threat” online “to attack an unspecified Jewish synagogue” in New Jersey, briefly setting off fears in a state with a large Jewish population. But the FBI located and interviewed Alkattoul that night, and the following day, they lifted the alert.

Newark FBI Agent in Charge James Dennehy told Jewish leaders that in the interview with the FBI, Alktattoul “expressed radical extremist views and ideology, as well as an extreme amount of hate towards the Jewish community.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, U.S. District Judge Christine P. O’Hearn sentenced Alkattoul to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

“This defendant admitted using social media to send a manifesto containing a threat to attack a synagogue based on his hatred of Jews,” Sellinger said following the sentencing Tuesday. “This prompted a state-wide alert and put the community on edge. No one should be targeted for violence or with acts of hate because of how they worship.

“Threatening someone’s life because of who they are or what they believe is simply unacceptable in civilized society,” said Dennehy. “Alkattoul admitted to breaking the laws we enforce to protect our communities from hate and threats of violence. Now more than ever, the FBI and our law enforcement partners need the public’s help reporting anything they see, so the threats don’t turn into physical attacks.”

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