Federal authorities arrested 18-year-old Omar Alkattoul for threatening to “curb stomp” LGBTQ people, attack a synagogue, and use a Molotov cocktail on a Jewish person.
Alkattoul said his threats were just part of a fantasy terrorist “live-action role play” (also known as LARPing). But the threats — which envisioned “bombings, shootings and ‘maybe’ beheadings” — compelled the FBI to issue a warning of a possible attack to synagogues around the Newark, New Jersey area.
“Alkattoul claimed he would not actually do it because he did not want to disappoint his family,” court records reported by Vice News said. “He further claimed that he did not ‘have the balls’ to commit such an act, especially after ‘this visit’ from the FBI. Alkattoul additionally claimed that he did not want to serve a prison term, get shot, or die.”
The bigot’s threats were issued in a manifesto entitled “When Swords Collide.” The manifesto blamed Jews for all attacks against Muslims.
“God cursed the Jewish people and God should burn gay people,” he allegedly wrote, adding that he would “face or curb stomp the next fa***t” he saw…. Many more attacks like these against the enemy of Allah and the pigs and monkeys will come.”
In one of its sections, entitled “The Heroes,” Alkattoul praised the terrorist organizations al-Qaeda as well as ISIS leaders like the September 11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden and many others.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said that on social media apps Alkattoul said he wanted to conduct an attack as revenge for the 2019 Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shooting in which a neo-Nazi killed 51 Muslim worshippers. The DOJ also alleged that he idolized white supremacist Dylann Roof, who killed nine people in a Black church, because he killed Christians.
“I was planning an attack, but it’s gonna take me years to prepare for it because I don’t have items and my parents do not like guns,” Alkattoul allegedly wrote to an unidentified social media user, according to court documents. “I said I could be targeting a synagogue or gay nightclub.”
Upon arrest, Alkattoul was transported to a hospital for a mental evaluation. On his way, he reportedly told an ambulance worker that he “that he supported ISIS and al-Qaeda” and told a hospital employee that he was not joking when he planned an attack on a synagogue.
Alkattoul has been charged with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce. If convicted, he could receive a $250,000 fine and five years in prison.
“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,” Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy said in a DOJ press release.