Student arrested over violent anti-Jewish threats at Cornell University - Hindustan Times
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Student, 21, arrested for making violent threats against Cornell University's Jewish community

BySumanti Sen
Nov 01, 2023 07:45 AM IST

Patrick Dai was arrested on a federal criminal complaint that charges him with posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications

A 21-year-old student has been arrested for making disgusting anti-Jewish threats at Cornell University recently, putting the campus on high alert.Patrick Dai was arrested on afederal criminal complaint that charges him with posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications.

A New York State Police Department cruiser is parked in front of Cornell University's Center for Jewish Living, in Ithaca, NY, Monday, Oct 30, 2023 (AP Photo/David Bauder)(AP)
A New York State Police Department cruiser is parked in front of Cornell University's Center for Jewish Living, in Ithaca, NY, Monday, Oct 30, 2023 (AP Photo/David Bauder)(AP)

At the time the threats were made,Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack said in an online statement, “Earlier today, a series of horrendous, antisemitic messages threatening violence to our Jewish community and specifically naming 104 West — the home of the Center for Jewish Living — was posted on a website unaffiliated with Cornell. Law enforcement was immediately notified.”

What did Patrick Dai write?

“The complaint alleges that Dai postedthreatening messages to the Cornell section of an online discussion site, including posts calling for the deaths of Jewish people and a post that said “gonna shoot up 104 west.” According to information provided by Cornell University Police and other public information, 104 West is a Cornell University dining hall that caters predominantly to Kosher diets and is located next to the Cornell Jewish Center, which provides residences for Cornell students,” United States Attorney’s Office said.

“In another post, Dai allegedly threatened to “stab” and “slit the throat” of any Jewish males he sees on campus, to rape and throw off a cliff any Jewish females, and to behead any Jewish babies. In that same post, Dai threatened to “bring an assault rifle to campus and shoot all you pig jews.” The charges and the allegations in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” it adds.

Dai could face a maximum of five years behind bars, and could have to pay a fine of up to $250,000. The charge also carries a term of supervised release of up to three years. He is set to appear in federal court in Syracuse, New York, before a United States Magistrate Judge.

The United States Attorney’s Office further said, “The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which includes the New York State Police, is investigating this case along with the Cornell University Police Department and the Ithaca Police Department. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York is prosecuting the case, in conjunction with the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Kathy Hochul confirmed the news about the arrest in a post on X. “Law enforcement has identified a person of interest in relation to threats of a mass shooting and antisemitic violence at Cornell University. This individual is currently in New York State Police custody for questioning,” she wrote.

She added in the thread, “When I met with Cornell students yesterday, I promised them we would do everything possible to find the perpetrator. Public safety is my top priority and I'm committed to combatting hate and bias wherever it rears its ugly head.”

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