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A man accused of threatening to attack a Jewish community center faces federal charges

A man arrested last month for allegedly threatening to attack an Ohio Jewish community center has been indicted on federal charges, the US Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Ohio said Friday in a news release.

James P. Reardon, 20, was charged with one count of transmitting an interstate communication threat and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, the news release said.

The New Middletown, Ohio, man was arrested when an Instagram account that allegedly belonged to Reardon featured a video that showed a man holding an assault rifle as audio played of gunshots, sirens and people screaming, the news release said, citing the criminal complaint.

The post tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown, the news release said. The post was accompanied by a caption that read, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon” — a Gaelic version of Reardon’s name.

“This defendant used a firearm to threaten people who simply want to worship as they choose, as guaranteed by our Constitution,” US Attorney Justin Herdman said in a statement. “Law enforcement will not stand by and allow someone to intimidate others with threats of violence.”

An attorney for Reardon did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment Saturday.

Last month authorities executed a search warrant at Reardon’s mother’s home, where they found several firearms — including an AR-15 and a MP-40 sub-machine gun — a Hitler Youth knife, rifle bayonet and Nazi propaganda posters from World War II, the news release said.

Local authorities charged him with one count of telecommunications harassment and one count of aggravated menacing.

Police in New Middletown also provided federal investigators with other videos that Reardon appeared in, including a National Geographic documentary about the infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counterprotester was killed in August 2017.

In the documentary, an 18-year-old Reardon said he didn’t consider himself a neo-Nazi but did consider himself a white nationalist.

“I want a homeland for white people,” he said, per the video, “and I think every race should have a homeland for their race.”

The Instagram video that kickstarted the investigation was initially shared with a New Middletown police officer who was on an unrelated call.

Federal authorities used the case to highlight the importance of community involvement when it comes to preventing potential shooting or attacks.

“This defendant’s video demonstrated that he had access to weapons and he posed a threat to a Jewish community center,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith said in the US Attorney’s news release.

“The public is reminded — if you see something, say something.”

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