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21-year-old Pittsford man admits to threatening Jewish Center at Cornell University

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  • Staff Report 

A 21-year-old Cornell University student, Patrick Dai, has been arrested after a federal complaint accused him of making threats against the university’s Jewish community. During a recorded interview with a Joint Terrorism Task Force agent at the Cornell Police Department, Dai allegedly admitted to posting threatening messages online. These messages were tracked to an IP address associated with his residence in Pittsford, New York.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

The threatening messages included phrases commonly associated with Islamic terrorism and anti-Semitic chants. One post threatening to attack a kosher dining hall at Cornell University, which is adjacent to the Cornell Jewish Center, was specifically cited in the complaint.

Dai is being investigated under federal law for threats made via interstate communications.

The threats, which began on October 28 and spanned over 24 hours, prompted several students to feel unsafe, leading some to leave campus. Federal authorities linked the messages to Dai after serving an emergency disclosure request to Charter Communications. U.S. Magistrate Therese Wiley Dancks has approved the criminal complaint and is set to oversee Dai’s arraignment at the James Hanley Federal Courthouse in Syracuse, New York.

Hochul gives update, says one pers is in custody

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the detention of a person of interest by the State Police in relation to recent threats of antisemitic violence at Cornell University. The individual, who was implicated in an online threat of a mass shooting and antisemitism, is currently undergoing questioning. The governor reaffirmed her dedication to public safety and her resolve to confront hate and discrimination in all its forms.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The threats, which targeted the Jewish community at Cornell, were posted on an internet forum, causing distress among students and prompting heightened security measures. Authorities increased police presence at the university’s Jewish center and kosher dining hall as a precaution. These alarming statements have disrupted the sense of security on campus, with students feeling particularly vulnerable moving between campus locations.

Governor Hochul, in her commitment to student safety, visited Cornell on Monday and assured that the New York State Police would aggressively pursue those responsible for online threats. Emphasizing the importance of a secure educational environment, Hochul declared that hate speech and potential hate crimes would not be tolerated, assuring students that the state would take decisive action to protect them.