A man from New York who supports the Islamic State was just arrested in connection with a St. Patrick's Day plot to kill police officers.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicated as much in a press release that it published on Friday.
The DOJ has identified the suspect as 32-year-old Ridon Kola.
The DOJ has charged Kola with "making threatening interstate communications."
According to the DOJ's complaint, Kola had threatened to kill the Mayor of Yonkers and members of the Yonkers Police Department (YPD), while expressing his support for Islamic terrorism and terrorist-type attacks.
Kola made the threats online via his social media accounts. In one of his more recent posts, he made threats against the YPD in connection with the St. Patrick's Day Parade that was held on Mar. 18.
On Mar. 9, for example, Kola messaged the YPD, stating:
First people to be crucified will be the Yonkers rats Vallahi. Allahu Ekberr. I will crucify Yonkers cops and their bosses all along McLean ave. It will be a horror scene . . . Allahu Ekberr.
McLean Ave. is part of where the St. Patrick's Day Parade took place. In another post, made shortly thereafter, Kola posted a photograph of himself holding an ax. The post was captioned, "come on Judas, I’m waiting for you."
According to the DOJ, Kola has been posting these sorts of messages since at least November 2021. But, the threats have recently escalated.
According to the DOJ, in December 2021, detectives interviewed Kola at his residence. They confronted Kola about the posts, and he admitted to making them. But, he claimed that he did not intend on carrying the threats out.
The interview, however, didn't seem to cause Kola to change his ways. The DOJ reports:
Beginning in early 2023, and continuing in the days leading up to the planned St. Patrick’s Day parade, KOLA has escalated his threats against the YPD and other government officials and has expressed his support for violent Islamic extremism and terrorist attacks.
This, apparently, is why law enforcement finally decided to take action against Kola.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams put out a statement, saying:
Undeterred after questioning from law enforcement, Kola’s conduct escalated, as he continued to assure police his threats would be carried out. Threatening violence against police or to undermine public safety will not be tolerated, as Kola now stands charged and faces prison time for his threats against our dedicated law enforcement partners tasked with keeping us safe.
Kola's first court appearance was on Friday. The charge that he is facing - making threatening interstate communications - carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.