Adams to travel abroad for summit against antisemitism after thwarted NYC synagogue attack

Man with Nazi arm band, second armed suspect arrested at New York City's Penn Station last week

New York City Mayor Eric Adams will travel abroad this week starting Wednesday to attend a summit against antisemitism in Greece before continuing on to Qatar for the World Cup. 

Adams, a Democrat, will depart Wednesday to Athens, Greece, to participate in the 2022 Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism. The trip comes following a recent attack against the Jewish community thwarted by local, state, and federal law enforcement last weekend, the mayor’s office said. 

The international travel advisory indirectly referred to the arrests of 21-year-old Christopher Brown of Aquebogue and 22-year-old Matthew Mahrer of the Upper West Side at Penn Station on Nov. 19. 

At a press conference days later, Adams said he and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell were notified "of a credible threat on Jewish New Yorkers and immediately communicated with our teams to take appropriate action." 

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The mayor said one of the suspects "was flagged by making antisemitic and threatening posts online, including references to perpetrate an armed attack on a synagogue." 

Mayor Eric Adams takes a tour of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on Nov. 17, 2022 in New York City. 

Mayor Eric Adams takes a tour of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on Nov. 17, 2022 in New York City.  (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Two MTA police officers, drawing from information disseminated between the FBI and NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force, the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, and the MTA Police Department, spotted the two suspects at Penn Station and placed them under arrest at the major Manhattan transportation hub, Adams said. 

One suspect allegedly had a Nazi arm band. Weapons were also recovered, police said. 

Mayor Eric Adams with Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette makes safety related announcement for Thanksgiving Day Parade on 77th street. 

Mayor Eric Adams with Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette makes safety related announcement for Thanksgiving Day Parade on 77th street.  (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

"This was not an idle threat. This was a real threat," Adams said at the press conference. "After arresting the suspects, law enforcement officers recovered a Glock semi-automatic firearm, a ghost gun with an extended 30-round magazine and laser sight, a large hunting knife, a black ski mask, and a Nazi arm band. A Nazi arm band, in New York City, in 2022. Think about that for a moment."

New York Mayor Eric Adams talks a selfie with visitors during the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon Inflation on Nov. 23, 2022. 

New York Mayor Eric Adams talks a selfie with visitors during the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon Inflation on Nov. 23, 2022.  (Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

"Over 77 years ago, after allied soldiers liberated Auschwitz and exposed the full extent of the horrors of the Holocaust. Hate is on the rise in America, a dark cloud over our nation," Adams added. "It has become normalized by politicians and celebrities, amplified by social media and cable news, and weaponized by the easy availability of guns in this country. This was a ghost gun. That adds to the already over-saturation of guns in our city and cities across America. This is a toxic mix with frightening implications for our society."

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On Thursday, the mayor will travel to Doha, Qatar, "where he will meet with a number of government officials, as well as security and economic development leaders," according to the international travel advisory published by the mayor’s office last week. "The trip is intended to learn more about the 2022 World Cup as New York City/New Jersey prepare to serve as a host city to the games in 2026." 

Adams will be back in New York City on Sunday, Dec. 4, according to his office.