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Press Release

Middlesex County Man Sentenced To 15 Months In Prison For Communicating Threats To Attack Synagogue

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 15 months in prison for transmitting via the internet a manifesto containing threats to attack a synagogue and Jewish people, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Omar Alkattoul, 19, of Sayreville, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce on or about Nov. 1, 2022. U.S. District Judge Christine P. O’Hearn imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

“This defendant admitted using social media to send a manifesto containing a threat to attack a synagogue based on his hatred of Jews. This prompted a state-wide alert and put the community on edge. No one should be targeted for violence or with acts of hate because of how they worship. Protecting our communities of faith and places of worship is at the heart of this office’s mission. The sentence that was imposed today holds this defendant accountable for his hateful words.”

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger

“Threatening someone's life because of who they are or what they believe is simply unacceptable in civilized society,” FBI -Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy said. “Alkattoul admitted to breaking the laws we enforce to protect our communities from hate and threats of violence. Now more than ever, the FBI and our law enforcement partners need the public's help reporting anything they see, so the threats don't turn into physical attacks.”

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Nov. 1, 2022, Alkattoul used a social media application to send an individual a link to a document entitled “When Swords Collide” and admitted to this individual that he wrote the document. He admitted targeting a synagogue. He stated in the document: “It’s in the context of an attack on Jews.” According to a second individual, Alkattoul also sent the document to at least five other people using another social media application.

In addition to the prison term, Judge O’Hearn sentenced Alkattoul to three years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents and task force officers with the Newark FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Dennehy, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked agents of the FBI Field Office in Tampa, Florida, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge David Walker; the FBI Field Office in New York, under the direction of Assistant Director in Charge James Smith; and the FBI Washington Field Office, under the direction of Assistant Director in Charge David Sundberg; as well as the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, under the direction of Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin; the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone; and officers of the Sayreville Police Department, under the direction of Chief Daniel Plumacker.

The government is represented by Christopher Amore, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s General Crimes Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s National Security Unit, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division. 

Updated November 14, 2023

National Security
Press Release Number: 23-331