Patrick Dai, a Cornell Junior, has been charged.
A suspect has been charged in the threats against Jewish students at Cornell.
A Cornell student has been charged Tuesday with making threats against Jewish students on campus.
Patrick Dai, of Pittsford, posted threats to shoot up a multicultural dining room on campus to an online discussion site, prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York said in a news release.
104West, the dining room, serves food that meets Kosher, Halal and other religious guidelines. It is next to the university’s Center for Jewish Living, where several dozen Jewish students live on campus.
Dai, a junior, also called for the deaths of Jewish people and threatened to bring an assault rifle to campus, prosecutors said. He was charged with posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications.
Dai faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison if convicted. He’s expected to be arraigned Wednesday in federal court in Syracuse, prosecutors said.
The US Attorney’s Office Press Release asserts:
Patrick Dai, age 21, a junior at Cornell University who is originally from Pittsford, New York, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Alfred Watson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); New York State Police Acting Superintendent Dominick L. Chiumento; and Cornell University Police Chief Anthony Bellamy.
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 charge filed against Dai carries a maximum term of 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
Dai is expected to make his initial appearance tomorrow in federal court in Syracuse, New York, before a United States Magistrate Judge.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which includes the New York State Police, is investigating this case along with the Cornell University Police Department and the Ithaca Police Department. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York is prosecuting the case, in conjunction with the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice.
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I was quoted in a Fox News article about the arrest:
“It is concerning, of course, that the threats came from within the campus. It must be particularly frightening for students to think that someone they sat in class with or socialized with could make such threats,” said William A. Jacobson, a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law Clinic at Cornell Law School. “I hope that there will be a full and transparent investigation of his connections, if any, to any groups or others who may have known of the threats.”
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