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Xinhua/Sipa USA

20-Year-Old Accused Of Wanting To Bomb Trump Tower, Israeli Embassy

May 22, 2019 - 6:31 pm
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NEWARK, N.J. (WCBS 880) — Federal authorities allege a New Jersey man accused of seeking to aid a terrorist organization discussed wanting to bomb the Israeli embassy and Trump Tower in New York City.

Twenty-year-old Jonathan Xie is also accused of threatening to attack a pro-Israel march. Prosecutors say he was seen on an Instagram Live video last month displaying a Hamas flag and then pulling out a handgun before allegedly stating, "I'm gonna go to the [expletive> pro-Israel march and I'm going to shoot everybody" and "I do not care if security forces come after me, they will have to put a bullet in my head to stop me."

The U.S. attorney's office says Xie sent $100 in December to a person he thought was affiliated with a faction of Hamas and later posted on Instagram, "Just donated $100 to Hamas. Pretty sure it was illegal but I don't give a damn."

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Last month, he allegedly posted on Instagram that he wanted to bomb the Israeli embassy and Trump Tower in New York. 

In one post, he wrote the words "I want to bomb Trump Tower" over a photo of the building and he later posted another image of the tower with an emoji bomb and a poll asking whether he should bomb the building, authorities said.

He allegedly also had plans to join the U.S. Army "to learn how to kill."

“Homegrown violent extremists like Xie are a serious threat to national security,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. “The actions that he took and planned to take made that threat both clear and present, and we commend our law enforcement partners for working closely with us to stop him before he could carry out his plans to commit violence on American soil.”

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Xie, of Basking Ridge, is charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization, making false statements and transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. 

During his first court appearance at a Newark courthouse Wednesday, the 20-year-old calmly shook his head to the judge's questions and answered, “Yes sir.”

Xie will remain in custody while his case continues.