Cornell junior Patrick Dai, 21, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with “posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications…reports Asian Lite News
The prestigious Cornell University has said that it cancelled classes after a student was accused of posting online threats against Jewish people on campus.
No classes would be held Friday “in recognition of the extraordinary stress of the past few weeks”, a spokeswoman for the Ivy League institute said. Faculty and nonessential staff will also be excused from work.
Cornell junior Patrick Dai, 21, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with “posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications,” the US Attorney’s Office for New York’s Northern District announced.
Prosecutors said Dai published posts in an online discussion forum in which he threatened to kill and injure Cornell’s Jewish students and “shoot up” the university’s predominantly kosher dining hall.
Dai also threatened that he would “bring an assault rifle to campus” to shoot Jewish people.
The university’s officials immediately sent police to guard a Jewish centre and the kosher dining hall following the incident.
“We will not tolerate antisemitism at Cornell; indeed we will not tolerate hatred of any form, including racism or Islamophobia,” Cornell President Martha Pollack said in a statement Thursday.
Earlier this week, the Joe Biden administration announced new actions aimed at combating a dangerous scourge of antisemitic incidents on college campuses across the country in the wake of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Biden on Monday told reporters he was “very” concerned about the rise of antisemitism.
“To the students at Cornell, and on campuses across the country, we’re tracking these threats closely,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing.
In his testimony at a congressional hearing, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray warned Tuesday that threats to the Jewish community in the United States were “reaching in some way sort of historic level.”
A White House official said that the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service is providing support to Jewish, Muslim, Arab and other impacted communities.