A New Jersey man who allegedly talked about bombing Trump Tower and killing pro-Israel demonstrators has been arrested on charges related to terrorism.
Jonathan Xie, 20, of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, has been charged with two counts of attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization, two counts of making false statements, and one count of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, according to a Department of Justice news release.
Chinese Man, Jonathan Xie, “aided Hamas, threatened to k!ll Israel supporters.” But Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Linda Sarsour attack white male Trump supporters for being the problem ?? #MAGA2020 #KAG #Patriotshttps://t.co/ci5FjM57yJ pic.twitter.com/jBTyXkP8n8
— Ritz James (@SnStell) May 22, 2019
During the video, Xie threatened participants in a pro-Israel march, the complaint stated. The video showed Xie displaying what appeared to be a gun.
“I’m gonna go to the [expletive] pro-Israel march and I’m going to shoot everybody,” the statement quoted Xie as saying.
“I want to shoot the pro-Israel demonstrators . . . you can get a gun and shoot your way through or use a vehicle and ram people … all you need is a gun or vehicle to go on a rampage … I do not care if security forces come after me, they will have to put a bullet in my head to stop me,” the complaint quoted Xie as saying.
Xie also spoke about attacking Trump Tower, according to the Justice Department.
In April, he posted a photo of Trump Tower with the words “I want to bomb Trump Tower” imposed upon it.
Xie later posted, “Donald Trump, he should be hung from the gallows!”
He followed that up, according to the news release, by posting, “Okay, so I went to NYC today and passed by Trump Tower, then I started thinking about bombing it and I was imagining that the explosion would kill Trump and then I started laughing hysterically . . . s–t I forgot to visit the Israeli embassy in NYC . . .i want to bomb this place along with trump tower.”
Later in April, Xie talked about the Coachella music festival in California, which had just taken place.
“Someone needs to get a truck filled with explosives and blow up the Coachella event. Watch their blood and dead bodies litter the streets,” he wrote, according to the complaint.
Those posts followed Xie’s attempt in February to join the Army with an ulterior motive he explained in a post, according to the statement.
He said he wanted “to learn how to kill… So I can use that knowledge.” and later added, “Idk if I pass the training…If I should do lone wolf. That is why I have to learn military techniques from the Army …”
The release did not say what became of Xie’s attempt to enlist in the military.
In December, Xie sent $100 to someone he thought was part of the Al-Qassam Brigades, a violent arm of Hamas.
At the time, according to the news release, Xie posted to his Instagram account: “Just donated $100 to Hamas. Pretty sure it was illegal but I don’t give a damn.”
JUST IN by artist Christine Cornell:
Terrorist suspect Jonathan Xie appears before a federal judge in Newark.
The 20-year-old was remanded as his mother (pictured) and father fought back tears.
Charged with sending money to Hamas and threatening to kill Jews and bomb Trump Tower pic.twitter.com/lRlqVHxOzi
— Henry Rosoff (@HenryRosoff) May 22, 2019
Federal authorities called Xie’s arrest a sign that preventive measures against terrorism are necessary.
“Homegrown violent extremists like Xie are a serious threat to national security,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in the news release.
“The actions that he took and planned to take made that threat both clear and present, and we commend our law enforcement partners for working closely with us to stop him before he could carry out his plans to commit violence on American soil. We will continue to do everything in our power to safeguard our country and its citizens from the threat of terrorism, whether that threat comes from abroad or – as here – from within.”
Xie, who made his initial court appearance on Wednesday, is being held without bail.
“The threat from homegrown violent extremists who self-radicalize remains persistent,” FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity said in the news release. “While more Americans may be familiar with ISIS, we take seriously those who wish to help any designated terrorist organization.”
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