update deskAntisemitism

Massachusetts man accused of threats to kill Jews, bomb synagogues

This is “deeply disturbing” and reflects “the increasing torrent of antisemitism across our country,” said Joshua Levy, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

Congregation Agudas Achim in Attleboro, Mass. Source: Google Street View.
Congregation Agudas Achim in Attleboro, Mass. Source: Google Street View.

Federal authorities arrested a Massachusetts man on Monday morning for allegedly threatening to kill Jews and to bomb synagogues, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts announced.

John Reardon, 59, of Millis, Mass., was already in the custody of local authorities after his arrest on Jan. 25. He was due in court on Monday.

“The allegations here about the series of threats Mr. Reardon made against the Jewish community are deeply disturbing and reflect the increasing torrent of antisemitism across our country and right here in Massachusetts,” stated Joshua Levy, acting U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts.

“The numbers do not lie. Incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia are spiking,” Levy said. “We will continue to work every day with our federal, state and local partners to track down people who allegedly engage in such hateful conduct.”

Jodi Cohen, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, said that Reardon is accused of “using his words as a weapon, leaving a threatening message to frighten members of the Congregation Agudas Achim.”

“No one should have to fear becoming the victim of physical violence at the hands of an angry stranger,” Cohen added. “While the FBI does not and will not police ideology, we take all threats to life seriously, and so should anyone thinking about making one.”

The Reconstructionist congregation is located in Attleboro, Mass.

Among the things Reardon is accused of having said in a Jan. 25 phone message that he left at the synagogue are: “You do realize that by supporting genocide that means it’s ok for people to commit genocide against you”; “With supporting the killing of innocent little children, that means it’s OK to kill your children”; “From the river to the sea”; and “Guess what? We are going to use your logic—if you can kill the Palestinians, we can kill you.”

He allegedly added in his obscenity-laden message that if Jews bomb “their” places of worship, “we can bomb yours. If you can kill their children we can kill yours,” and that “you people” must stop committing genocide.

“End the genocide, or it is time to end Israel and all the Jews,” the suspect allegedly said. “I supported Jewish people though. Not anymore. A matter of fact I think we should kill yous all,” he added. “Have a lousy day and oh don’t be surprised if there’s pig blood on your steps tomorrow.”

Per the complaint, Reardon allegedly left threatening messages 10 minutes later at “another local synagogue as well as a local Jewish affiliated organization.”

He faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000, per the U.S. attorney’s office.

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