Wednesday, February 21st | 12 Adar I 5784

January 31, 2023 3:15 pm

Man Charged in NY Synagogue Attack Plot Is New York City Government Employee


avatar by Andrew Bernard

Illustrative: Police officers stand guard in front of the United Synagogue of Hoboken in New Jersey, U.S., November 4, 2022. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

A suspect in an alleged plot to shoot up a New York-area synagogue worked as a New York City government employee responsible for child safety, federal court filings have revealed.

Jamil Hakime, who has worked as a youth development specialist in the Administration for Children’s Services since 2014, allegedly supplied a pistol to Christopher Brown and Matthew Mahrer, who were arrested in November while heavily armed, according to court papers filed in the federal courts of the Southern District of New York.

Hakime is charged with multiple federal gun trafficking offenses for his involvement with Brown and Mahrer and for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Hakime’s job at the Bronx Juvenile Detention Center involves the “custody and care of juveniles in secure detention” and “juvenile safety and security.” He also has degrees from two Jewish institutions of higher learning, Touro College and Yeshiva University.

Hakime was denied bail in December and again on appeal in January because he poses a “danger to the community.”

The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) told The Algemeiner that Hakime was the subject of a disciplinary matter following his arrest, has not returned to work, and is no longer being paid. Prior to his arrest, he worked on an administrative assignment. According to its website, ACS “protects and promotes safety and the well-being of New York City’s children and families.”

“Hakime procured a gun for two individuals intent on criminal activity and promised another convicted felon that he would procure a gun for that person upon release from prison,” US District Judge Analisa Torres wrote in her Jan. 13 decision denying Hakime bail. “Hakime conducted his gun trafficking activity from his residences in Manhattan and in Pennsylvania. The weight of evidence against Hakime is strong and includes photos, surveillance, and recorded phone calls.”

Hakime’s Facebook account includes a photo of him holding what appears to be an AR-15 style rifle and a 2020 photo of him with Chirlane McCray, the wife of then-Mayor Bill DeBlasio, at a city government children’s event.

Matthew Mahrer, 22, of Manhattan posted $150,000 cash bail on Dec. 5. after pleading not-guilty to five felony state charges. One of his alleged co-conspirators, Christopher Brown, of Aquebogue, NY, who also pleaded not-guilty, remains in custody. Brown also faces terrorism and hate crime charges.

The two were arrested on Nov. 20 outside of Penn Station with a Glock pistol, a high capacity magazine, a knife, and a swastika armband, officials said.

Brown had posted on Twitter before his arrest that he might “shoot up a synagogue” and a video message about killing people with hatchets, according to the criminal complaint against the pair.

“What might have been the next Pittsburgh or Poway synagogue massacre was averted,” the CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, Eric Goldstein, said, referring to the 2018 and 2019 massacres at Jewish houses of worship.

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