A 21-year-old Cornell University student, Patrick Dai, has been charged with making violent threats against the school’s Jewish community. Dai, a junior from Pittsford, New York, was arrested on Tuesday on a federal criminal complaint. The charges include posting threats to kill or injure others using interstate communications.
According to the complaint, Dai allegedly made threatening posts on an online discussion site targeting the Cornell University Jewish community. The posts included calls for the deaths of Jewish people and a specific threat to “shoot up” the 104 West dining hall, which is located next to the Cornell Jewish Center.
In addition to these threats, Dai allegedly posted messages threatening to harm Jewish males, females, and babies. The posts mentioned stabbing, throat-slitting, rape, and beheading. Dai also allegedly threatened to bring an assault rifle to campus and shoot Jewish people.
If convicted, Dai could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. He is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Syracuse, New York.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, along with the Cornell University Police Department and the Ithaca Police Department, are investigating the case. 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 University has expressed gratitude to the FBI for swiftly identifying and apprehending the suspect. The university condemns the antisemitic threats and believes they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Cornell Police will maintain heightened security on campus, and the university will continue to support the needs of its students, faculty, and staff.