Patrick Dai, a 21-year-old junior at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York was arrested Tuesday in the case of vicious anti-Semitic death threats against Jewish Cornell students posted on a message board over the weekend. The messages threatened a mass shooting at the building hosting the kosher dining hall and a call for people to slit the throats of Jewish students. The arrest was announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.
The threats prompted a police response and forced Jewish students to hide in their rooms. Earlier on Tuesday Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced a person of interest in the case had been taken into custody.
Screen images of some of the messages that were posted to Greekrank:
Statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York:
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – 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.
Cornell has been embroiled in anti-Semitic behavior since the October 7 terror attack on Israel by Hamas. A professor spoke in support of the attack at a rally and anti-Israel graffiti was spray-painted in campus. Then came the death threats posted online.
— Sam Aberman (@samaberman) October 15, 2023
Amid increasing Jew-hatred and several pro-Hamas rallies on campus, including one at which a professor called Hamas’s massacre “exhilarating,” students at @Cornell were greeted by this egregious, hateful display this morning.
What is Cornell doing to protect its Jewish students? pic.twitter.com/lDvSA6fKA3
— Israel War Room (@IsraelWarRoom) October 25, 2023
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