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Illinois Man Charged with Making Violent Threats Towards Synagogue

Antioch police arrested a man Friday evening who they said made threats towards Jewish organizations across the country and then made repeated direct violent threats toward a local synagogue. Christopher Williams, 33, of Antioch, was charged by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office with Hate Crime, a Class 4 Felony, and Electronic Harassment, a Class 4 Felony, according to a news release from the village.

Antioch police and federal law enforcement partners started the months-long investigation after Williams allegedly made threats towards Jewish organizations across the country, according to the release.

He then made “repeated directed threats of violence” towards a synagogue in nearby Lindenhurst, according to the release. NGO StopAntisemitism shared a photo of Christopher Williams with their followers on social media.

In November, the Department of Homeland Security issued a terrorism threat bulletin saying the country remains in a “heightened threat environment.”

According to DHS, lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of beliefs and personal grievances pose a “persistent and lethal threat to the homeland.”

“Targets of potential violence include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents,” the bulletin read.

Williams was arrested near his home in Antioch and he is being held on a $700,000 bond, according to the release.

“This type of discrimination and threats of violent behavior will not be tolerated in our community where we foster the core values of respect and inclusivity,” Antioch Police Department Chief Geoffrey Guttschow said in a news release. “I would like to personally thank our federal partners, Lake County States Attorney, and my officers for their dedication to the safety of our Lake County residents.”

Source: https://antisemitism.org.il/2023/05/02/usa-antioch-man-allegedly-made-violent-threats-towards-synagogue/