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DOJ Names Student Arrested For Making Threats Against Jewish Students At Cornell

Update: The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York announced in a press release on Tuesday night that Patrick Dai, 21, a junior at Cornell University, “was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications.”

The press release has further details about the disturbing complaint:

The complaint alleges that Dai posted threatening messages to the Cornell section of an online discussion site, including posts calling for the deaths of Jewish people and a post that said “gonna shoot up 104 west.” According to information provided by Cornell University Police and other public information, 104 West is a Cornell University dining hall that caters predominantly to Kosher diets and is located next to the Cornell Jewish Center, which provides residences for Cornell students. In another post, Dai allegedly threatened to “stab” and “slit the throat” of any Jewish males he sees on campus, to rape and throw off a cliff any Jewish females, and to behead any Jewish babies. In that same post, Dai threatened to “bring an assault rifle to campus and shoot all you pig jews.” The charges and the allegations in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The maximum sentence for Dai, should he be found guilty, would be a term of 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

He is expected to make an initial appearance in federal court in Syracuse on Wednesday.

Later on Tuesday night, the StopAntisemitism account shared a picture of Dai over X, including the stunning information from Dai’s LinkedIn profile that he had been a safety officer. His profile also listed him as a student orientation leader. “Cornell” has been trending over X in response to the DOJ naming Dai. 

Original: On Sunday, as we covered at Townhall, online threats were made against Jewish students at Cornell University. Statements went out, university authorities investigated the matter, and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) and Cornell University President Martha Pollock also spoke on Monday about the threats to condemn them and stand with Jewish students. On Tuesday, there’s already been an update posted to the university website, as a suspect is now in custody.

“We can confirm that a subject has been identified as a suspect in the antisemitic threats made against our Jewish students on Sunday and is currently in custody. We thank the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for their coordination. We will update the public as we have further details to release,” the statement from Vice President for University Relations Joel M. Malina read.

Not long after the October 7 terrorist attack that Hamas committed against Israel, Professor Russell Rickford, a history professor at Cornell University, claimed that the attack was “exhilarating” and “energizing.” He requested to go on and was placed on leave. 

The university told Townhall in a Monday statement that “to your question on the threats made, President Pollack’s statement, which went to our community yesterday, is all we have to share at this time.”

There were 1,400 Israelis killed as a result of that terrorist attack from Hamas. It was the bloodiest day in the country’s history, with the most Jews killed since the Holocaust. Men, women, and children alike were murdered in horrific ways. This included babies and elderly Holocaust victims. Hamas didn’t merely target their victims for murder, though, but also for rape, torture, and kidnapping. The official Israel X account released images of babies who had been beheaded and burned not long after the attack, as Townhall covered at the time. Americans are also among the dead and those taken hostage. More disturbing details continue to come out about what horrors Israelis were subjected to

Hochul also shared an update to her own X account on Tuesday.

Prior to that post, Hochul, who has been posting since Sunday about the incident at Cornell, denounced antisemitism in a separate post. However, as has become a habit of Democrats, including and especially in President Joe Biden’s administration, Hochul also tied in other forms of hate.

“There is zero tolerance in New York for antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind, and we are deploying every possible state resource to keep New Yorkers safe,” that earlier post read in part, despite how there’s been a rise in antisemitism around the country, including on college campuses.

During Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre discussed the threats made at Cornell and a task force that the Biden administration had announced earlier that day to monitor anti-semitic incidents taking place on college campuses. It was also when Jean-Pierre condemned anti-semitism in a particularly strong factor, though she failed to come out against pro-Hamas protesters for the “extremists” that they are.

Jean-Pierre has also been among those, though, who focuses on Islamophobia when discussing anti-semitism. She did so last Monday when asked about if there were credible threats about a rise in anti-semitism and she “we have not seen any credible threats.” Jean-Pierre then proceeded to discuss Islamophobia and threats against Muslims, and later claimed she misheard the question. 

Statistics from the FBI from previous years, as well as more recent NYC hate crimes discussed by the NYPD last week show that there are more hate crimes committeed against Jews than Muslims.

The press secretary also spoke about concerns with Islamophobia during Tuesday’s press briefing when asked about the Biden administration’s response to Muslim-Americans who are “very angry” and feel that they are not being heard by the president when it comes to their calls for a ceasefire.