Ohio man arrested for threatening to attack Jewish center

Jame Patrick Reardon was arrested Saturday after his home was searched and a cache of weaponry was found. Photo courtesy of Mahoning County Sheriff's Office

Aug. 19 (UPI) — Ohio police arrested a self-identified white nationalist over the weekend in possession of a cache of weaponry after he made threats against a Jewish community center, authorities said.

James Patrick Reardon, 20, was arrested Saturday by the New Middletown Police Department and was booked into the Mahoning County Jail on one count of telecommunications harassment with the purpose to abuse, threaten or annoy and one count of aggravated menacing, according to jail records.

His bond was set at $250,000.

The arrest follows police having been alerted to a post on his Instagram account of a video capturing a man believed to be Reardon firing multiple rounds, which is not illegal. However, the July 11 post was captioned “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as white nationalist Seamus O’Reardon,” which police interpreted as a threat to commit violence against the center, WFMY reported.

“He was implying that he was going to be identified as the shooter of the Jewish center,” New Middletown Police Chief Vince D’Egidio said. “That kicked off a very intensive investigation, a very rapidly evolving investigation.”

He added that I-R-A Seamus was Reardon’s online pseudonym.

The Youngstown Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his mother’s New Middletown home, confiscating two AR-15s, a rifle equipped with a bayonet, a .40-caliber anti-tank gun and an assortment of knives as well as several magazines, ammunition, a gas mask and a bullet-resistant vest.

The Youngstown Area Jewish Federation said it was made aware of the threat on Friday and maintained constant communication with law enforcement leading up to Reardon’s arrest.

Andrew Lipkin, the federation’s executive vice president, said that while they know of no additional threats to the Jewish community, security will remain on alert.

“I want to stress today that this is a clear example of everything going right,” Lipkin said in a statement. “The system worked. We take very seriously the need to be vigilant to ensure the safety of all members of the local Jewish community, as well as all members and guests of our Jewish community center and other agencies. Security has become a vital part of the mission of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, a mission in which we will never waver.”

The Cleveland regional office of the Anti-Defamation League, an anti-hate organization, said it was “grateful” to the work of the FBI and would continue to “employ all our resources to stop the spread of white nationalism and violent extremism.”

“Although there is no continued threat to the community, we ask that people remain vigilant, and if you see something, please contact law enforcement immediately,” it said via Twitter.


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