Two Arrested in Connection to Threats Against Synagogues; One is Reportedly Jewish and from the Upper West Side

Two Friday evening arrests were made at Penn Station following a recent investigation into threats made against New York City synagogues.

Christopher Brown, a 21-year-old man from Aquebogue in Long Island, was arrested for making a terrorist threat, aggravated harassment, and criminal possession of a weapon. At the time of his arrest, he had a large hunting knife and a Nazi armband in his possession. Brown’s threats were apparently made on Twitter, and police say he has a history of mental illness and that he’s been on their radar for some time. Brown will be facing a judge on Sunday.


Matthew Mahrer, 22, was arrested for criminal possession of a weapon. Investigators had recovered a Glock 17 during a search of his Upper West Side apartment. According to a November 20, 3:37 a.m. report by the New York Post, Mahrer’s attorneys say he is actually Jewish and that his 93-year-old grandfather is a Holocaust survivor. It is also alleged that Mahrer has been “diagnosed with autism, bipolar disorder, anxiety and ADHD.” He is currently being held on $150,000 bail.

Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell issued the following statement following the arrests.

The FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force, NYPD Counterterrorism and Intelligence Bureau investigators, working with their law enforcement partners, uncovered a developing threat to the Jewish community on Friday and moved swiftly to gather information, identify those behind it, and operationally neutralize their ability to do harm. 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. As a joint investigation now continues to establish a strong prosecution, Police Department commanders are strategically deploying assets at sensitive locations throughout New York City. And I join all New Yorkers today in expressing my gratitude and pride for the ever-vigilant work of our NYPD women and men — who remain on-guard around-the-clock and every day to protect the peace and ensure no violence can ever come to the city and its people.

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  1. Mindy Lonseur November 20, 2022
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