OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
11:43 AM – Wednesday, November 1, 2023
21-year-old Patrick Dai, a student at Cornell University, has been arrested on federal charges for reportedly calling for the deaths of Jewish people online and threatening to execute a mass shooting on campus.
On Tuesday, Dai, who is originally from Pittsford, New York, was detained after being accused of making violent threats against the Jewish community at Cornell University and threatening to “bring an assault rifle to campus.”
Dai shared the posts to social media platforms on October 29th.
The social media posts threatened to “kill or injure another using interstate communications,” which is a felony.
According to the federal complaint, the disturbing social media posts allegedly said that Dai was planning to “shoot up 104 west,” which is a typically-Jewish campus dining hall that serves kosher food. The dining hall is also located next to the Cornell Jewish Center.
In an additional post, Dai reportedly threatened to “stab” and “slit the throat” of all Jewish men that he has seen around the university, and to “rape and throw off a cliff” Jewish women. The last threat mentioned was that he would “behead” any Jewish children in front of their parents, according to court papers.
In the same post, Dai additionally said that he was going to “bring an assault rifle to campus and shoot all you pig jews.”
The federal complaint also stated that the FBI searched for Dai through his IP address and the 21-year-old confessed to making the violent comments under the usernames of “glorious Hamas,” “kill Jews” and “sieg heil.”
The student’s mother told the press that her son suffers from “severe depression” and was on the verge of suicide right before he was arrested. Additionally, Dai’s father made a statement about his son regarding his behavior, similarly saying that he “deals with mental health issues.”
“My son is in severe depression. He cannot control his emotions well due to the depression,” said his father, who asked that his name be withheld, told reporters in a text message.
“He was always very nice to society, well organized, helpful to my family and his classmates before 2021,” his father added. “He told us he lost his life goal and motivation … As parents, we tried to give him more love.”
His father also mentioned that Dai took off two semesters from 2022 to 2023 to “improve his mental health.”
However, Dai stopped all communications with his family, days before he was detained.
The violent threats come in the midst of a rise in anti-Semitism on college campuses throughout the United States, prompted by the Israel-Hamas conflict.
In addition, the disturbing online comments shared by Dai prompted New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) to visit the Cornell University campus and generated an improvement of security for Jewish students and groups.
On Wednesday, Dai is expected to make an initial appearance in federal court on a charge of “making threats to injure or kill another using interstate communications.”
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, including the New York State Police, the Cornell University Police Department, and the Ithaca Police Department, are in the process of investigating the case.
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