A New Jersey man who discussed blowing up Trump Tower in New York City was arrested on terrorism charges Wednesday.
“The suspect, identified as Jonathan Xie, of Basking Ridge, was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of attempting to provide material support to a designated terror group, making false statements and transmitting a threat of interstate commerce,” according to NBC4. “Though he spoke of the attacks, authorities say there was no specific plot.”
The 20-year-old reportedly sent money abroad to Hamas, a Palestinian terror organization, and also discussed bombing the Israeli Consulate in New York City.
Xie, who tried to enlist in the Army earlier this year and lied on his applications, saying he was not associated with any terrorist organizations, allegedly spoke of his plans on Instagram.
Last month, FBI surveillance saw Xie outside Trump Tower in Manhattan. Shortly thereafter, according to Instagram records, he posted two photos to his account, one with the words “[S]hould I bomb Trump Tower,” a “Yes/No” poll and an emoji of a bomb imposed over the Trump Tower building image.
Records show Xie then posted on Instagram, “Okay, so I went to NYC today and passed by Trump Tower and then I started laughing hysterically . . . s*** I forgot to visit the Israeli embassy in NYC … i want to bomb this place along with trump tower,” according to the criminal complaint.
He also said on Instagram that he would “find a way” to join Hamas, videoing himself with their flag and brandishing a handgun.
“I’m gonna go to the [expletive] pro-Israel march and I’m going to shoot everybody,” he reportedly said.
On a separate occasion, he talked on Instagram about killing pro-Israel demonstrators.
“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.”
He posted on his Instagram page last year that he sent $100 to someone in Gaza whom he believed was a Hamas operative. He said he was “pretty sure” that his activities were illegal but that he “[didn’t] give a damn.”
Xie is facing decades in prison for each count of attempting to provide material support to terrorists.
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