Man wanted to bomb Trump Tower, Israeli embassy, Feds say

Trump Tower in New York City, Photo Date: September 12, 2017 / Photo: Trump Tower New York / (MGN)
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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A 20-year-old New Jersey man sought to aid the Islamic militant group Hamas by threatening to "shoot everybody" at an unspecified pro-Israel march, federal authorities said Wednesday.

Jonathan Xie was charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization, making false statements and transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. He was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday afternoon in Newark.

It wasn't immediately known if he'd retained an attorney.

The U.S. attorney's office also alleges Xie posted on Instagram that he wanted to bomb the Israeli embassy and Trump Tower in New York.

According to a criminal complaint, a person wearing a black ski mask later identified as Xie said in an Instagram video that he was against "Zionism" and the "neo-liberal establishment" and, in response to a question, said he would join Hamas "if I could find a way."

Later in the video, Xie allegedly displayed a handgun and said he was going to go to a pro-Israel march "and I'm going to shoot everybody."

According to the account of a person who interacted online with Xie and later contacted the FBI, Xie said the attack would be at an Al-Quds Day parade, an annual event held around the final Friday of Ramadan.

Xie sent $100 to a person he believed was affiliated with a faction of Hamas last December, and a few days later, posted on his Instagram account that he was "pretty sure it was illegal but I don't give a damn," according to the complaint.

The U.S. has designated Hamas a foreign terrorist organization since 1997.

Xie also allegedly lied on security forms he filled out when he sought to join the U.S. Army by not mentioning the donation.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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