A Texas man was arrested and charged for threatening to kill prominent rabbis, including leaders at the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters in New York.
Christopher Stephen Brown, 37, appeared in federal court on Thursday. His girlfriend Rebekah Jones, 28, also appeared in court and was charged with assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon during Brown’s arrest.
Brown allegedly sent a message to Chabad via its website on Dec. 2, calling for the death of all Jews and threatening to kill members of the beit din, a Jewish rabbinical court.
The message included a link to a video on Brown’s YouTube channel. On the channel, Brown calls himself Madrikh Obidiah and calls for the death of the Chabad-Lubavitch chairman, vice chairman and another leader’s son.
On Dec. 4, Brown called Chabad headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, N.Y., and allegedly left two voicemail messages. He said Madrikh Obidiah would “tear out” the rabbis’ eyes and tongues, and kill every rabbi he could find. He called the headquarters again the next day and allegedly threatened to behead the Jewish leaders.
Law-enforcement officials arrived at Brown’s apartment to arrest him on Dec. 8. He “repeatedly refused to obey agents’ commands” during the arrest and “resisted being placed in handcuffs,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.
“During the struggle, Ms. Jones locked arms with Mr. Brown and tried to pull him into the bedroom. She pointed a gun at an FBI agent, who grabbed the gun and attempted to point it in a safe direction. While wrestling with both Mr. Brown and Ms. Jones, the agent was eventually able to free the gun and fling it onto the floor.”
Brown faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted, while Jones faces up to 20 years.