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Massachusetts Man Arrested After Threatening to Kill Synagogue Members

A Millis, Mass. man was arrested by federal authorities today for allegedly threatening to kill members of the Jewish community and bomb places of worship.

John Reardon, 59, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of using a facility of interstate commerce to threaten a person or place with harm via an explosive. Reardon was arrested this morning and will appear in U.S. District Court in Boston at 2 p.m. today. Reardon was previously arrested by local law enforcement Jan. 25, 2024 and has remained in custody since.

“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. The numbers do not lie — incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia are spiking. 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,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy.

“John Reardon is accused of using his words as a weapon, leaving a threatening message to frighten members of the Congregation Agudas Achim,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “No one should have to fear becoming the victim of physical violence at the hands of an angry stranger. 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.”

According to the charging documents, on the morning of Jan. 25, 2024, Reardon allegedly called Congregation Agudas Achim, a synagogue in Attleboro, Mass. and left a voicemail making the following statements:

  • “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;” 
  • “People are going to use your logic against you, you stupid f**ks;”
  • “Guess what? We are going to use your logic —if you can kill the Palestinians, we can kill you;”
  • “If you can bomb their f**king places of worship we can bomb yours, if you can kill their children we can kill yours;”
  • “You people need to stop the f**king genocide;”
  • “End the genocide, or it is time to end Israel and all the Jews;” 
  • “I supported Jewish people though. Not anymore. A matter of fact I think we should kill you(s) all;” and
  • “Have a lousy day and oh don’t be surprised if there’s pig blood on your steps tomorrow.”

It is further alleged that, within 10 minutes of leaving the voicemail at the Congregation Agudas Achim, Reardon called another local Synagogue as well as a local Jewish affiliated organization. Reardon was arrested by local law enforcement after the calls were made. 

The charge of using a facility of interstate commerce to threaten a person or place with harm via an explosive provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting U.S. Attorney Levy and FBI SAC Cohen made the announcement today. The Attleboro and Wrentham Police Departments; Massachusetts State Police; Bristol County District Attorney’s Office; and Bristol County Sheriff’s Office provided valuable assistance in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Riley-Cunniffe and Torey B. Cummings of the Civil Rights & Human Trafficking Unit are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.