What: Attend Court Hearing Regarding Defendants Who Allegedly Planned NYC Synagogue Attack
When: Tomorrow – April 4, 2023 at 10 a.m.
Where: New York Supreme Court, 111 Centre Street, 7th floor, Room 733, part 31, Courtroom of Judge Diane Kiesel
We know the day before Erev Pesach is a very busy time, but if you can, please try to attend the Court hearing tomorrow, April 4, regarding two armed men (Christopher Brown, 21 and Matthew Mahrer, 22) arrested at Penn Station last November for allegedly planning to attack an unspecified synagogue in New York. Showing up sends an important message that the Jewish community cares to see that those who plot to attack Jews and synagogues are brought to justice.
Case Background: The indictment is here. Both defendants are charged with conspiracy and criminal possession of a weapon. Brown is also charged with criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism, and making a terroristic threat as a hate crime.
According to the indictment, Brown tweeted threats including: “Big moves being made on Friday”; “Brutally, murder people with hatchets and whatnot. How it feels to KILL PEOPLE.”; “Gonna ask a Priest if I should become a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die.”; and “This time I’m really gonna do it.”
After the two were arrested, Brown allegedly told the police that he operated a white supremacist Twitter group; that he had a “sick personality”; and “It took me three years to finally buy the gun. Matt [Mahrer] is one of my followers. I have Nazi paraphernalia in my house. I think it’s really cool.”
Brown allegedly paid Mahrer $650 to get a gun in Pennsylvania. When the men were arrested at Penn Station on November 18, 2022, the MTA police found a knife, swastika armband and ski mask in Brown’s backpack. Police found a backpack with a gun, extended magazine and 19 rounds of ammunition at Mahrer’s apartment.
Recently, a third man, Jamil Hakime, 58, who sold the illegal gun to Brown and Mahrer, pleaded guilty to a federal charge, and will be sentenced in July. Hakime worked for New York City’s children services as a juvenile counselor, and received degrees from Touro College and Yeshiva University.