Law enforcement authorities in New York City say they have arrested two men in a move they believe stopped a “developing threat to the Jewish community.”
The New York Police Department along with federal law enforcement said in a statement Saturday that authorities uncovered a threat to the Jewish community that reportedly involved a threat against a synagogue that led to the arrest of two men at New York City’s Penn Station, WNYW-TV reported.
“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,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said about the Saturday morning arrests of two men.
“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.”
The two men arrested were 21-year-old Christopher Brown and 22-year-old Matthew Mahrer, the NYPD confirmed to Fox News Digital.
The department confirmed that Brown has been charged with aggravated harassment, terroristic threats and criminal possession of a weapon while Mahrer has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon.
The two men reportedly made threats to an undisclosed synagogue and Brown was in possession of an armband with a swastika on it, the New York Post reported.
“Today, we’re extremely grateful to NYPD investigators and our law enforcement partners who uncovered and stopped a threat to our Jewish community,” the department posted on Twitter. “This morning’s arrests in Penn Station and weapon seizures are proof of their vigilance & collaboration that keeps New Yorkers safe.”
New York City has witnessed a surge of hate crimes targeting Jewish people, and the NYPD released figures earlier this year showing that the attacks were up 300%.
Additionally, several high profile attacks have taken place at synagogues nationwide over the past few years, including a massacre at a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, synagogue that killed 11.