13-year-old boy accused of planning mass shooting at Ohio synagogue

A 13-year-old boy has been arrested and accused of planning a mass shooting at a synagogue in Ohio, court documents show.

The suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with inducing panic and with disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors, for allegedly making a detailed plan to shoot members of the Temple Israel in the city of Canton, south of Akron.

He is accused of sharing his plan on the online chat platform Discord, which has been used by previous mass shooters to discuss their plans and in some instances their extremist ideology before their attack was executed

The suspect created “a detailed plan to complete a mass shooting at the the Temple Israel on the Discord platform which was reported to law enforcement and required an immediate investigatory response,” said a Stark County Family Court filing, submitted by the Stark County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office learned of the plot on Sept. 1 and notified the school system, “which caused significant public alarm within those agencies,” the filing said.

Although his arrest was before the ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas began on Oct. 7, the charges come amid increased antisemitic attacks in the U.S., as well as an increase in anti-Muslim violence, in the wake of the conflict.

Anti-Defamation League Cleveland said in a post on X that it was “horrified” by the news and thanked law enforcement officers for their thorough investigation.

“And for young people like this suspect, we hope this can be a teachable moment. Hate and threats on social media, as in real life, cannot and will not be tolerated,” the group added in a subsequent post.

The suspect appeared in a pre-trial hearing on Nov. 20 and is due to face a full trial on Dec. 20. NBC news contacted the boy’s legal representative for comment but had not received a response by the time of publication.

A man was federally charged in connection with shots that were fired outside a synagogue in Albany, New York, last week.

And earlier this week a Jewish couple described being attacked as they made their way to their local synagogue in Beverly Hills, California, on Saturday. The suspect was charged with multiple felony counts and could face life in prison.

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