ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) — A suspect was in custody Tuesday for posting threatening statements online about Jewish students at Cornell University, according to officials.
The menacing messages, posted over the weekend on a forum about fraternities and sororities, alarmed students at the Ivy League school in upstate New York. The anonymous threats came amid a spike of antisemitic and anti-Muslim rhetoric appearing on social media during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
“We can confirm that a subject has been identified as a suspect in the antisemitic threats made against our Jewish students on Sunday and is currently in custody,” Joel M. Malina, vice president for university relations, said in a statement.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said an individual identified Tuesday as a person of interest was in the custody of state police for questioning.
State police referred questions about the case to Cornell. An email seeking additional information was sent to Cornell.
The comments this weekend were left on a Greek life website that is not affiliated with the school in Ithaca, New York, about 227 miles (365 kilometers) northwest of New York City.
The Cornell University Police Department reacted by increasing patrols and arranging additional security for Jewish students and organizations. A state police cruiser was parked in the street in front of the Center for Jewish Living on Monday.
The threats also prompted a campus visit by Hochul.
“Public safety is my top priority and I’m committed to combatting hate and bias wherever it rears its ugly head.” Hochul said in a statement Tuesday.
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