Omar Alkattoul, a 19-year-old from Sayreville, New Jersey, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for posting a broad online threat targeting synagogues and Jewish schools in the state last year. U.S. District Judge Christine O'Hearn in Camden handed down the sentence after Alkattoul pleaded guilty to transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce. Despite facing a potential five-year prison term, Alkattoul received the 15-month sentence.
Federal prosecutors revealed that Alkattoul expressed hatred towards Jews, posting online statements such as “God cursed the Jewish people.” He admitted to researching gun acquisition, shooting ranges, and mass shootings but was uncertain about carrying out an attack. U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger emphasized that no one should be targeted for violence due to their religious beliefs.
Authorities, while acknowledging the threat, did not believe Alkattoul had the means to execute a specific attack. The incident prompted a statewide alert from the FBI, leading to increased security measures at houses of worship and schools.