Defendants plead not guilty in alleged plot to attack Jewish community in New York City

Both defendants charged in connection with a plot to attack the Jewish community in NYC pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday.

Matt Mahrer, 22, and Christopher Brown, 21, appeared very calm during the arraignment, but the judge’s decision to leave bail as is for Mahrer sparked outrage among the courtroom.

Authorities foiled the alleged plot on Nov. 18 when MTA police officers arrested the defendants on a tip from the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Mahrer, a resident of the Upper West Side, walked out of court with nothing to say.

“I don’t understand why he’s allowed to go home free, I think it’s outrageous,” Gale Brewer said. “Congregants have told me they’re scared to go to synagogue for many reasons, antisemitism in general, but also this person living on their block, so this is not right.”

“We requested remand at the initial arraignment, we requested it today based on seriousness of the facts, we made our application and the judge ruled, importantly the other defendant who made the tweet that was talked about on the record was remanded and that continues,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said.

Both Brown and Mahrer are each charged in a New York Supreme Court indictment with one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree and a slew of weapons charges.

Brown also faces a charges related to making terroristic threats.

Authorities said Brown posted several threatening Twitter posts, including, “Gonna ask a Priest if I should become a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die,” and “This time I’m really gonna do it.”

Brown allegedly paid Mahrer $650 to buy a gun in Pennsylvania. Police not only recovered the weapon, but a knife, swastika armband and ski mask from Brown’s backpack.

“New Yorkers need to know a tragedy was averted, through the coordinated efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement,” Bragg said.

During the proceedings, Mahrer’s attorney drew a line of distinction between his client and Brown. He argued his client doesn’t have a criminal history and that he is also Jewish.

Their next court appearance is Feb. 1.

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