A 32-year-old man who authorities said supports radical Islamic extremism and seen in a social media post with an ax threatening to kill Yonkers police officers and the mayor at Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York, authorities said.
Ridon Kola was arrested Friday before an attack on the parade that took place Saturday could be carried out, officials said.
“As alleged, Ridon Kola posted threats on social media against law enforcement and stated his support for ISIS and his intent to murder several police officers,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “Unfazed by law enforcement questioning, Kola’s behavior escalated as he continued to assure police that his threats would be carried out. Threatening violence against police or undermining public safety will not be tolerated.”
In a tweetMayor Mike Spano praised authorities for countering the threat.
“Yonkers is proud to host one of New York’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades, and threats like this will not deter us from celebrating the many contributions of our Irish-American community,” he said.
Details about Kola were revealed in an unsealed complaint alleging that he has engaged in escalating threats of violence, including a threat to the Yonkers Police Department and the mayor at Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The threats began appearing in messages to a Yonkers Police Department official social media account in November.
One read in Albanian: “I’m going to slaughter you little girls.”
The following month, a message read: “From tomorrow I will start killing your officers, just so you know who is doing it, Ridon Kola Albanian blood and I will kill your fat rat mayor.”
Later, in an interview at his home, he admitted to detectives that he wrote the posts but said he did not want to harm the officers or the mayor. Despite that, police warned officers to exercise caution in their encounters with the suspect, officials said.
Later, referring to the interview with detectives, he sent a direct message to the Yonkers Police Department’s social media account, saying:
“I’m looking for the cop who came to my house and threatened to kill me and my family. I will burn the world until I find him Vallahi [by God]no matter what happens to me, there will never be peace in this land again!”
He allegedly expressed support for jihad, or war against non-Muslims, and suggested establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, through violence and killing, court documents said.
In another post, Kola allegedly praised Sayfullo Saipov, who was recently convicted of terrorism and murder in connection with a Manhattan truck attack that left eight people dead on Halloween 2017, court records show.
Kola escalated his threats, officials said.
“Now it’s personal America and the world!!!” and a threat to burn “cia fbi nsa police jud[g]are also alive with their families!” Kola’s social media account profile said on March 9, records show.
That day, he allegedly sent two direct messages to YPD’s social media account:
“The first people to be crucified will be the Yonkers rats Vallahi. Allahu Ekberr”; and “I will crucify the Yonkers cops and their bosses along McLean Ave.” referring to part of the route of the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade, that takes Saturday and close to where authorities said he lives. “It’s going to be a horror scene. . . Allahu Akbar.”
In a post on Sunday on his social media feed, he had a photograph of himself holding an ax with a statement in Albanian saying: “Come on Judas, I’m waiting for you.”
A criminal complaint filed in federal court in New York accuses Kola of making threatening interstate communications. The charge carries up to five years in prison.
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