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Indian-American pleads guilty to threatening Jewish organization

New York, Dec 18 (IANS) A 21-year-old Indian-origin man has pleaded guilty to leaving a threatening voicemail targeting a Jewish organization in New York.

Deep Alpesh Kumar Patel, a resident of Sarasota city in Florida, faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted, US Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced last week.

He was arrested and charged last month for transmitting an interstate threat to injure.

According to the plea agreement, on October 21 Patel had left a threatening voicemail at the World Jewish Congress in New York City in which he identified himself by name.

Screaming numerous expletives, he said: “If I had a chance, I would kill every single one of you Israelis. Every single one of you! Cause mass genocide of every single Israeli.”

Patel also admitted that he had called a synagogue in Temple Terrace, Florida, the same day, and left another expletive-laden voicemail threatening to close it down.

He agreed to a special finding that he intentionally selected Jewish and/or Israeli individuals as the objects of his threat based on their actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity.

When law enforcement officials visited Patel at his home October 24, he confirmed making the phone call to the World Jewish Congress but denied threatening anyone.

While Patel’s sentencing date is yet to be set, his case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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