Ohio man arrested for online threat against Jewish community centre

James P. Reardon Jr., 20, threatened the Jewish Community Centre in Youngstown, Ohio. (Screenshot from NBC News)

An Ohio man was arrested after he appeared in a post on Instagram to threaten an attack on a local Jewish community centre.

James P. Reardon Jr., 20, was arrested early Saturday in connection with the threat on the Youngstown Jewish Community Centre (JCC). He is being held on charges of telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing, according to local reports.

A video posted on Instagram last week showed Reardon shooting an assault rifle, accompanied by the sounds of sirens and screams. Under the video Reardon added the caption, “Police identify shooter of Youngstown Jewish Family Centre as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.” The Youngstown JCC was tagged in the post.

An investigation determined the account belonged to Reardon, the Youngstown Vindicator reported, citing police. It has since been removed from Instagram. He reportedly had several on-line pseudonyms.

New Middletown police and members of the Violent Crimes Task Force and the FBI served an arrest warrant for Reardon. A search of his home in the Youngstown suburb found assault weapons, extra ammunition, a gas mask and other items that were seized, according to the report.

Extra police security was provided to the JCC and three area synagogues after the arrest.

Reardon is an avowed antisemite and white nationalist and attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, according to the local ABC affiliate, WYTV. Police discovered antisemitic and white nationalist propaganda during the search of his home as well.

JTA