A 13-year-old Canton, Ohio, boy has been accused of plotting a mass massacre at a local Jewish synagogue.
The youngster, who cannot be identified in court because he is a child, is charged with causing panic and disorderly behavior, both misdemeanors. On the web platform Discord, he is accused of publishing a “detailed plan to complete a mass shooting” at Temple Israel in Canton, a community south of Akron.
According to officials, the allegations come amid increased antisemitism in the United States in recent years, including deadly mass shootings at synagogues in 2018 and 2019.
According to court documents, the Canton synagogue case was discovered on September 1 and reported to law authorities. A hearing has been scheduled for December 20.
The Stark County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the case, and the boy’s attorney did not immediately reply to requests for comment. Because the matter involves a juvenile, Temple Israel’s Rabbi, David Komerofsky, refuses to speak.
The Anti-Defamation League of Cleveland said in a social media post that it is glad for law enforcement’s quick action and thinks this is a “teachable” time for young people.
“Hate and threats on social media, as in real life, cannot and will not be tolerated,” the statement read.
Following the shock Hamas onslaught in southern Israel on October 7 — in which terrorists killed approximately 1,200 people and took approximately 240 hostages — and subsequent war in Gaza, Israel has faced harsh criticism over Palestinian civilian casualties.
According to the ADL, the two months following the conflict had the largest two-month count of antisemitic events ever.