New Jersey Man Faces Federal Charges After Allegedly Making Online Threats to Bomb Trump Tower
A man facing charges for supporting Hamas and making threats online said he wanted to “bomb Trump Tower” after visiting President Donald Trump’s signature property, federal law enforcement authorities announced Wednesday.
In an announcement from the US attorney for New Jersey, federal officials said Jonathan Xie, a 20-year-old from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, was arrested Wednesday morning and was due in the afternoon to appear in a Newark court before US Magistrate Judge Mark Falk. Xie has been charged with attempting to provide material support to the Palestinian group Hamas, which the US has designated a terrorist organization, making false statements to the US Army and making threats online.
The complaint against Xie included multiple examples of Xie posting about his alleged crimes on Instagram. In one example, the FBI outlined a transaction where Xie sent $100 to someone in Gaza and later posted on Instagram: “Just donated $100 to Hamas … Pretty sure it was illegal but I don’t give a damn.”
The FBI surveilled Xie outside of Trump Tower in New York last month, and Xie later said, “I want to bomb Trump Tower” on Instagram. He also posted a “yes/no” poll asking if he should “bomb Trump Tower,” according to the Justice Department announcement.
It was not immediately clear if Xie had an attorney.
According to the complaint, Xie also said he “forgot to visit the Israeli embassy in NYC . . . i want to bomb this place along with trump tower.”
The complaint against Xie said the FBI became aware in January that Xie had posted about his support for Hamas online and that Xie expressed interest in gunning down supporters of Israel. The complaint said Xie appeared in an Instagram video in April where he displayed a handgun.
“I’m gonna go to the … pro-Israel march and I’m going to shoot everybody,” Xie said in the video, according to the FBI. The FBI said it believed the gun from the video was registered to Xie’s father.
The complaint said in the months after his attempt to donate money to Hamas, Xie also posted on Instagram about his support for Hamas and in February said he wanted to join the Army so he can “learn how to kill.” He then applied to join the Army and answered “no” when asked if he was ever associated with “anyone involved in activities to further terrorism.”
In April, Xie talked to an undercover FBI employee online and tried to walk the undercover FBI employee through the process of how to donate to Hamas, the complaint said. Later in April, he visited Trump Tower and made his comment about wanting to “bomb” the property.