The arrest happened through the cooperation of popular messaging platform Discord. The boy, who is only identified by the initials J.R., reportedly posted details of his plans on the platform. His post was reported, his account banned, and Discord reported incident to authorities.
He was charged with disorderly conduct and inducing panic, both of which are misdemeanors.
The teen’s target was Temple Israel, a synagogue in Canton. He was found to be in possession of maps and plans of the synagogue, according to a local news outlet.
According to court documents, the teenager posted his plans on Discord in September, after which the platform reported his comments to the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center.
Discord’s vice president of trust and safety, John Redgrave, said that the platform has “a zero-tolerance policy against hate and violent extremism.” In a statement to ABC News, Redgrave added that once they are alerted to such an incident, the platform takes “immediate action.”
The suspect’s school system was also notified of his plan, court documents state.
The arrest of the teen was confirmed to news outlets by the Prosecutor’s Office for Stark County, Ohio. Christian Turner, a spokesperson for the office, declined to give any further comment as the investigation is still pending.
The incident comes with the rise of antisemitic attacks in the U.S. According to data from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), incidents of antisemitism in the country from October 7 to December 7 stood at 2,031 – a staggering 337% jump from the number of incidents recorded during the same period last year. The teen’s plan, however, was posted before Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel.
J.R. has not entered a plea as of press time, nor has his lawyer issued any statement on the matter.
Temple Israel’s rabbi, David Komerofsky, also declined to comment since he said the incident involved a minor.
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