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‘Horrific Tragedy Averted:’ Chilling New Details Revealed in Penn Station Arrests

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Two men arrested at New York City’s Penn Station last month in connection with what authorities described as a “developing threat” to the Jewish community have been indicted on weapons, conspiracy and, in the case of one defendant, making terroristic threats, in the case, the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced Wednesday.

Christopher Brown, of Long Island’s Aquebogue, and Matthew Mahrer, of Manhattan, were stopped at the bustling transit hub on Saturday, Nov. 18. Brown had a backpack, from which MTA police recovered a swastika armband, knife and a ski mask, according to the indictment.

Earlier that day, Brown allegedly posted threats against the Jewish community on Twitter. One involved a threat of gun violence, while the other said simply, “This time I’m really gonna do it,” according to the indictment.

He also allegedly paid Mahrer $650 to get a gun in Pennsylvania to use in the alleged planned attack. That gun, prosecutors say, was later recovered in a backpack at Mahrer’s apartment. Also found there: an extended magazine and 19 rounds of ammunition, according to Manhattan prosecutors.

“A horrific tragedy was averted thanks to the diligence, hard work and coordination between my office and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement. “The increase in antisemitic attacks and threats cannot and will not be tolerated.”

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NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell echoed those sentiments, saying protecting all New Yorkers was paramount.

“Through the focused, collective efforts of the NYPD and our many law enforcement partners we were able to uncover, investigate, and, most importantly, stop a threat to our Jewish community.,” Sewell said. “We will never tolerate hate in our city, and we vow to hold accountable anyone who threatens the safety and security of our diverse population.”

Both Brown and Mahrer are charged in New York Supreme Court with fourth-degree conspiracy and multiple weapons counts. Brown is also accused of possessing a weapon as a crime of terrorism and making a terroristic threat as well as making a terroristic threat as a hate crime and a fourth-degree weapons possession charge.

It wasn’t immediately clear if either man entered a plea at Wednesday’s hearing, nor was information on their attorneys clear as of early Wednesday afternoon.

Source: NBC New York

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