A suspect has been charged in relation to threatening statements made online about Jewish students at Cornell University over the weekend, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York.

The office said Patrick Dai, 21, a junior at Cornell, was arrested and charged with posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications. 

The menacing messages, posted over the weekend on a forum about fraternities and sororities, called for the deaths of Jewish people and other violent language. They alarmed students at the Ivy League school in upstate New York. The anonymous threats came amid a spike of antisemitic and anti-Muslim rhetoric appearing on social media during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Dai, who is from Pittsford, in Monroe County, is expected to make an appearance in a federal court Wednesday in Syracuse.

“Cornell University is grateful to the FBI for working so swiftly to identify and apprehend the suspect in this case, a Cornell student, who remains in custody. We also thank Cornell Police and Chief Anthony Bellamy for extraordinary efforts in supporting the investigation and protecting our campus community," Cornell University said in a statement. "The university will continue to provide assistance to law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office as this case moves forward. We remain shocked by and condemn these horrific, antisemitic threats and believe they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We know that our campus community will continue to support one another in the days ahead. Cornell Police will maintain its heightened security presence on campus as the university continues to focus on supporting the needs of our students, faculty and staff.”

The Cornell University Police Department reacted to the initial threat by increasing patrols and arranging additional security for Jewish students and organizations. A state police cruiser was parked in the street in front of the Center for Jewish Living on Monday.

The threats also prompted a campus visit by Hochul.

"Public safety is my top priority and I’m committed to combatting hate and bias wherever it rears its ugly head,” Hochul said in a statement Tuesday.


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