Man Charged For Threatening on Facebook To Burn Down A Boston Mosque

Carol Nisar
A middle-aged man from the suburbs of Boston was arrested and charged Tuesday for making threats on Facebook to burn down a local mosque.

According to reports, Patrick Keogan, 44, could face up to 10 years in prison for illegally possessing ammunition and making a criminal threat on Facebook.

He posted the threat to a Boston mosque’s Facebook page on the day after the November Islamic State attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people.

Prosecutors stated that Keogan posted a picture of a mosque burning to the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center’s Facebook page with the caption “burn your local mosque.” Keogan reportedly told the Federal Bureau of Investigation before his arrest that he meant no harm or intention to damage the cultural center when he posted the threat.

The interior of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

The mosque’s officials said, unfortunately, they commonly receive Islamophobic messages from the public. “It is not uncommon for the ISBCC to receive hateful and anti-Muslim messages.” This online threat from Keogan, however, stood out as more suspicious since it was posted so closely after the Paris terror attacks.

During the FBI’s interrogation of Keogan, who apologized for writing the Facebook comment, prosecutors discovered that he had been stockpiling ammunition illegally in his home. For this, he could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison.

Even though Keogan was prohibited from purchasing ammunition due to his criminal record of driving under the influence and assault and battery, he still managed to gain possession of copious amounts of bullets.

The ease with which civilians can get hold of weapons and ammunition is frightening given the frequency of deadly attacks by out-of-control gunmen. Meanwhile, the Senate’s gun control measures appear to be at a standstill despite the Democratic Party’s efforts, once again, earlier this month to sway the Republicans in their vote.

There are two troubling factors at stake here, one being the persistence of threats to Islamic worship centers and the other being the fact that Keogan was obtaining ammunition even though he had a criminal history, which was supposed to prevent him from doing so. But on the positive side, federal law is paying serious attention to criminals such as Keogan and serving him justice.


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Photo credit: Facebook, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC)