ISIS Supporter Arrested Over Threats to Kill Cops, Mayor at St. Patrick's Parade: Feds

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The St. Patrick's Day Parade in Yonkers will kickoff as scheduled, with added security measures, following the arrest of a man feds say made online posts threatening to kill officials at the Saturday festivities.

Ridon Kola was arrested Friday by federal authorities after allegedly making threats to take out cops along the parade route. He's also accused of pledging support for ISIS and threatening to kill the city's mayor.

Investigators say the 32-year-old Yonkers man was on the radar of police for well over a year. Back in late 2021, police in the city stopped by Kola's home to question him about online posts where he allegedly threatened to kill police officers, as well as Mayor Mike Spano.

The man reportedly told police he was not serious about following through on the posts, so officers let Kola go with a warning. But those threats, according to a criminal complaint, would escalate one year later.

"Beginning in early 2023, and continuing in the days leading up to the planned St. Patrick’s Day parade, KOLA has escalated his threats against the YPD and other government officials and has expressed his support for violent Islamic extremism and terrorist attacks," a release from the U.S. Attorney Damian Williams' office said.

In a series of posts made this month, officials claim Kola praised Sayfullo Saipov, recently convicted of killing eight people on a Manhattan bike path on Halloween in 2017. Another post made threats to "crucify Yonkers cops and their bosses all along McLean ave."

"It will be a horror scene," the man allegedly wrote.

Kola, who lives near the parade route, was arrested and charged with making threatening interstate communications. Attorney information for the 32-year-old was not immediately known.

Following the Friday morning arrest, Mayor Mike Spano, who is leading the parade, assured people it would be safe to attend the next day.

"Most of the times these things don't pan out, but we have to be vigilant and we have to be 100 percent," Spano said.

Plenty of revelers in the neighborhood said there's no place they feel safer on St. Patrick's Day then McLean Avenue.

"I live two blocks up and it's not going to stop the fun, at all, ever," Kevin Patrick Scheehan said.

The parade, with steps off at 1 p.m. Saturday, will have salt trucks parked along McLean Avenue in addition to a police presence.

Authorities took the Yonkers man into custody for allegedly making online threats to kill officers and the city's mayor. News 4's Melissa Colorado reports.
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