Authorities in Yonkers, New York, arrested a man who threatened to commit an act of mass violence at the city's St. Patrick's Day parade. Ridon Kola, 32, was arrested on Friday (March 17) and charged with making threatening interstate communications.
Prosecutors said that Kola has been making threatening social media posts since 2021. Officers with the Yonkers Police Department interviewed Kola in 2021 after he made several posts threatening to kill police officers and the city's mayor. While Kola admitted to making the posts, he claimed he had no intention of committing violence.
The officers did not pursue any charges against Kola at the time.
However, starting in 2023, Kola began posting his support for "jihad" along with symbols associated with the terrorist group ISIS. He even sent the following message to the Yonkers Police Department:
"I'm looking for that officer that came to my house and threatened me and my family to kill us. I'm going to burn the world until I find him Vallahi [by God], no matter what happens to me there will never be peace in this country anymore! Allahu Ekberr."
On March 9, he sent two messages to the department, warning that he "will crucify Yonkers cops and their bosses all along McLean ave," which is along the route for the St. Patrick's Day parade.
"It will be a horror scene," he added.
Three days later, he shared a photo of himself on social media holding an axe that was captioned, "Come on Judas, I'm waiting for you."
"As we allege today, Kola, who has demonstrated support for radical Islamic extremism and terrorist attacks, made a series of threats to the lives of law enforcement and others, and now he will be forced to face the consequences of his actions. Counterterrorism remains the FBI's top priority, and through our NY JTTF, we remain committed to keeping all New Yorkers safe from acts of terror," FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said in a statement.
If convicted, Kola faces up to five years in federal prison.