A New Jersey man who authorities said sought to aid the Islamic militant group Hamas and threatened to “shoot everybody” at an unspecified pro-Israel demonstration pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal charge.
Jonathan Xie, 21, of Basking Ridge, now faces up to 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced Jan. 27. As part of a plea deal reached with federal prosecutors in New Jersey, he pleaded guilty to concealing attempts to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Xie sent $100 to a person he believed was affiliated with a faction of Hamas in December 2018, and a few days later, posted on his Instagram account that he was “pretty sure it was illegal but I don’t give a damn,” prosecutors said.
The U.S. has designated Hamas a foreign terrorist organization since 1997.
In April 2019, a person wearing a black ski mask later identified as Xie said in an Instagram video that he was against “Zionism” and the “neo-liberal establishment” and, in response to a question, said he would join Hamas “if I could find a way,” prosecutors said.
Later in the video, Xie allegedly displayed a handgun and said he was going to go to a pro-Israel march “and I’m going to shoot everybody.”