FBI and media priority was protecting Democrats, not Jews in reporting threats against NJ synagogues

As posted in American Thinker on November 22, 2022:

Several events shortly before the midterms saved Democrats from the expected “Red Wave.”  One was the way the FBI and New Jersey law enforcement handled their investigation of one apparent threat in New Jersey against Jews, Christians, and gays.

About one week before the November 8 elections, FBI agents learned that Omar Alkattoul, a high school senior in Sayreville, N.J., had posted on social media, in past tense, that he had attacked a synagogue.  He said he did it “for a really good reason according to myself and a lot of Muslims who have a brain.”

Alkattoul said he hoped “many more attacks like these against the enemy of Allah and the pigs and monkeys will come.”  (Some Islamic scholars teach that the  Koran and Hadith describe Jews as descendants of ancient sinners, who were like “pigs and monkeys.”)

Alkattoul also wrote about his hatred for gays and Christians.  He said he admired Dylann Roof for killing black Christians in a South Carolina church in 2015.  Alkattoul wrote that he was just as willing to kill people “in a gay nightclub” (as in Orlando, Florida) because “God should burn gay people.”

The FBI had two good reasons to treat these posts as serious threats.  First, terrorists often post videos or manifestos like this before launching deadly suicide attacks.  Second, Alkattoul’s messages closely resembled those of Zulfi Hoxha, a deadly Islamic State leader who grew up in Margate, a beachfront suburb of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Above Image:  2017 Islamic State Recruitment Video Featuring Zulfi Hoxha, 2010 graduate of Atlantic City High School in New Jersey. In it, Hoxha urges young Muslim men in the United States to “Liberate yourself from hellfire by killing a kaffir (non-Muslim). . . Are you incapable of stabbing a kaffir (non-Muslim) with a knife, throwing him off a building, or running him over with a car?”

Soon after graduating from Atlantic City High School in 2010, Hoxha embraced radical Islam.  At age 23, he went to Syria and became a commander of the Islamic State (ISIS).  There he appeared on videos using a knife to slit the throats of and cut the heads off helpless Kurdish prisoners.  Hoxha also made a video urging young Muslims in the United States to avoid “hellfire” by killing “kaffirs” (non-Muslims)” in “lone wolf” attacks.

The FBI and New Jersey law enforcement had good reason to immediately warn Jews of this threat so they could protect themselves.  If their priority had been to protect Jews, they would have described both the threat and the person who made it in detail.

However, on Thursday, November 3, the FBI Newark, N.J. office posted this notice on its Twitter page:


The FBI has received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ.  We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility[.]

The FBI did not identify or describe Alkattoul, display his photo, or disclose his connections to Islam.  An anonymous FBI official later told an Associated Press reporter “off the record” that no details of the investigation could be released. This allowed the media and Democrats to imply that Donald Trump or Republicans were somehow behind this threat.

The Associated Press released an article that became national headline news on the Friday before the midterm elections.  After reporting the current “broad threat” against Jews, the AP reminded readers of “two deadly attacks on Jews in Jersey City, and a nearby Orthodox Jewish community near New York City in 2019.”  The AP, of course, failed to mention that it was blacks who targeted and murdered Jews in those two attacks.  The AP story failed to mention the most recent incident of Jews in Lakewood, New Jersey being targeted and attacked by a black man last April.

During the past three years, the FBI, U.S. Homeland Security, New Jersey law enforcement, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) also ignored these attacks.  They instead promoted the fake narrative that Donald Trump, Republicans, “white supremacists,” and “right-wing extremists” are the biggest threats to Jews in America.

The AP article concluded with this quote by Josh Gottheimer, a Democratic congressman who was later defeated in his bid for re-election in New Jersey.

This is what happens after years of anti-Semitic comments from public figures, including most recently, Kanye West, Kyrie Irving, and others.

The JTA, a news service that supplies stories of Jewish interest to many Jewish newspapers and magazines, embellished Gottheimer’s remarks.  It reported that “white supremacist hate groups … adopted West’s comments as a rallying cry” and that “a change of leadership at Twitter has spurred antisemites to target Jews and other minorities online.”

All this media reporting supported the basic narrative used by Democrat candidates since President Biden’s speech in Philadelphia last September.  They all repeated his false claim that “MAGA Republicans” were responsible for “an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our country.”

FBI and N.J. state police agents questioned Omar Alkattoul one day after releasing news of his threat.  They also searched his smartphone and questioned others who had received his messages.

After doing this, they concluded that Alkattoul posed no threat.  Neither Alkattoul nor anyone in his group had weapons or explosives.  They had no plans for getting any.  They had merely sent messages to each other for several months fantasizing what they might do years in the future.   Later that day, the FBI Newark office posted this message:

We identified the source of the threat who no longer poses a danger to the community.  As always, we would like to remind the public to remain vigilant and if they observe suspicious activity to report it to law enforcement immediately.

When speaking to reporters, FBI and NJ law enforcement officials again refused to identify Alkattoul or his Islamic affiliation and motives.  On the contrary, N.J. attorney general Matt Platkin, a Democrat, made a vague statement implying that “MAGA Republicans” were at least partly to blame.  He said, “Bias and hate are on the rise. Antisemitism is on the rise, White nationalism is on the rise.”

This second story became national headline news on the Saturday before the midterms.  Would Platkin have said this if he and the FBI had honestly informed the public that this “broad threat to N.J. synagogues” came from one Muslim immigrant motivated by radical Islam?

Democrats did very well in the midterms.  Much of this was because Democrats succeeded in portraying Republicans as dangerous and intolerant extremists and  “threats to democracy.”

Two days after the midterms, FBI agents arrested Omar Alkattoul.  Only then did they first publicly disclose his identity and his messages of hate against Jews, Christians, and gays.

Yet even though the elections were over, the media buried the Islamic and immigrant links to this most recent threat against Jews.  The New York Times headline was “New Jersey Man Arrested in Connection with Threat to Synagogues.”  Even the New York Post headline was “Teen arrested for broad threat against New Jersey synagogues.”


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  • Seth Grossman

    Seth Grossman is executive director of Liberty And Prosperity, which he co-founded in 2003. It promotes American liberty and limited constitutional government through weekly radio and in-person discussions, its website, email newsletters and various events. Seth Grossman is also a general practice lawyer.

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