FBI: Hamas Supporter Arrested for Plotting to Bomb Trump Tower, Aiding Terror Organization

Trump Tower, NYC / Getty Images

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Federal authorities arrested a 20-year-old Hamas supporter on Wednesday who they say posted an Instagram poll about whether he should bomb Trump Tower in New York City.

FBI agents charged Jonathan Xie of New Jersey with two counts of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, two false statement charges, and a count of transmitting a threat, according to HuffPost. He is scheduled to appear Wednesday afternoon in Newark federal court.

A person who interacted with Xie in an online chat room tipped off the FBI that he wanted to harm Israel supporters. Another user recorded an Instagram Live video Xie posted wearing a black ski mask, in which he said he planned to attend a pro-Israel march and "shoot everybody."

In addition to saying he donated $100 online to Hamas, the Islamist terrorist organization governing the Gaza Strip, authorities said Xie posted photos of Trump Tower when he visited New York City in April, writing he wanted to bomb it. He conducted a poll, asking, "Should I bomb Trump Tower," and, according to HuffPo, he wrote in an Instagram chat that President Donald Trump "should be hung from the gallows."

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito called Xie an example of  "homegrown violent extremists" who are a "serious threat to national security."

"The actions that he took and planned to take made that threat both clear and present, and we commend our law enforcement partners for working closely with us to stop him before he could carry out his plans to commit violence on American soil," Carpenito said. "We will continue to do everything in our power to safeguard our country and its citizens from the threat of terrorism, whether that threat comes from abroad or—as here—from within."

Trump Tower, located in Manhattan, houses Trump's penthouse residence and also serves as the headquarters for The Trump Organization and his 2020 reelection campaign.
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