A Cornell University student was changed in connection with the antisemitic threats posted online this weekend.

October 31, 2023

BREAKING: Suspect in Custody for Antisemitic Threats Against Cornell Students

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Update, Oct. 31, 6:17 p.m.: There was heavy police and FBI presence on Eddy Street in Ithaca searching a residence sometime between 5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. There have been no further updates at this time.

Law enforcement identified a person of interest for the weekend threats against Jewish students and the Center for Jewish Living, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced in a Tuesday afternoon press release. The person is currently in the custody of New York State Police for questioning.

“When I met with Cornell students yesterday, I promised them New York State would do everything possible to find the perpetrator who threatened a mass shooting and antisemitic violence on campus,” Hochul wrote. “Public safety is my top priority and I’m committed to combating hate and bias wherever it rears its ugly head.”

The press release did not state whether the suspect is affiliated with the University. A Cornell spokesperson said the University does not have any additional information at this time.

This comes after a series of antisemitic threats were posted on Cornell’s forum on the platform Greekrank on Saturday and Sunday, in which the perpetrator threatened a mass shooting at 104 West, the home of the CJL and the University’s kosher dining hall, and physical harm against Jewish students.

In response, Cornell President Martha Pollack released a statement Sunday night in which she stated that antisemitism would not be tolerated at Cornell and that “this incident highlights the need to combat the forces that are dividing us and driving us toward hate.” 

“Evidence suggests the targeted locations were intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias,” the Cornell University Police Department said in a statement Sunday night.

Residents of the CJL told The Sun they were shaken up by the threats, with many receiving frantic calls from family members and taking extra precautions to ensure their safety. The CUPD and New York State police have increased security at 104 West following the threats.

On Monday morning, Hochul visited 104 West to assure students that New York state is taking these threats seriously.

“If you are going to engage in these harmful actions, hate crimes, breaking our laws — you will be caught, and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Hochul said.

Following the press conference, some students who spoke to The Sun said they knew the purpose of these threats was to instill fear and were determined to be defiant in the face of these threats.

“Keeping us home and making us afraid and not going to class and making us do worse — that’s how they win,” said Matan Auerbach ’25, a resident of the CJL. “So for me, if I don’t go out there and I don’t wear my kippah, I’m playing into their hands. And that’s just not how I operate.”