An ISIS-obsessed New Yorker who threatened to kill cops at a local St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been arrested, feds said Friday – as revelers across the country geared up to celebrate the often hectic holiday.
A resident of Yonkers, 32-year-old Ridon Kola was arrested and charged with making interstate threats ahead of the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, slated for Saturday.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, and comes after Kola directly messaged the Yonkers police force’s social media accounts to detail his planned attack.
The threats came over the course of several days, and were compounded by a series of troubling posts on the alleged domestic terrorist’s own social media.
One such post, published days after Kola direct messaged the department to say that he would ‘crucify’ cops tasked with overseeing the procession, included an image of the suspect brandishing an ax, seemingly to make good on his initial threat.
ARRESTED: A resident of Yonkers, 32-year-old Ridon Kola was arrested and charged with making interstate threats ahead of Yonkers’ St. Patrick’s Day parade, slated for Saturday
The ISIS-obsessed New Yorker’s arrest came as revelers across the country geared up to celebrate the often hectic holiday, including at the renowned NYC parade a few miles south
Sent to the Yonkers Police Department on March 9, the message saw Kola threateningly insist that the street set to house the event will be a ‘horror scene’ come Saturday, before signing off with an Arabic phrase that means ‘God is great.’
‘I will crucify Yonkers cops and their bosses all along McLean ave,’ wrote Kola in the correspondence, which was released by the Justice Department shortly after his arrest.
‘It will be a horror scene,’ the New York man continued, according to federal authorities. ‘Allahu Ekberr [sic].’
In another message sent that same day, Kola wrote: ‘First people to be crucified will be the Yonkers rats.’
While the message did not mention the parade directly, it did by proxy – with McLean being the street where the city’s event is set to be staged.
The planned event is markedly smaller than its famed Manhattan counterpart held a few miles south, which features a procession of roughly 150,000 and is attended by roughly 2million people.
That said, the Yonkers parade is no slouch, and is still expected to welcome roughly 30,000 revelers.
The threats came over the course of several days, and were compounded by a series of troubling posts on the alleged domestic terrorist’s own social media
The US Attorney’s Office on Friday revealed they had arrested the Yonkers resident, detailing a series of since-deleted posts in which the suspect expressed support for the terror group
In one post cited by the feds, Kola showed support for fellow ISIS fanatic Sayfullo Saipov, 35, who was sentenced to life in prison this week for using a rented UHaul to plow into eight people on a New York City bike path in 2017
Other since nixed posts included Islamic artwork and imagery feds said coincide with those used by jihadist groups to express a desire for an all-Islamic world – one of the main tenets of the terror group
Following Kola’s arrest, Yonkers’ mayor announced that the event would proceed as planned, with security being a priority.
‘The message is clear. It’s not funny,’ Democrat Mike Spano said of the currently incarcerated suspect’s not-so-veiled threats, saying he ‘will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.’
‘That’s what we do,’ the mayor said of his community set 16 miles north of Manhattan. ‘That’s why this guy won’t be at the parade. Safe to say. Everyone else who wants to enjoy the parade will be here.’
Hours earlier, the US Attorney’s Office revealed they had arrested the Yonkers resident, while also detailing a series of since-deleted posts in which the suspect expressed support for the terror group, as well as a ‘war against non-Muslims.’
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and first female New York City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh were seen attending St. Patrick’s Day festivities
Spectators were in good spirits as they cheered during the St. Patrick’s Day parade
Thousands flocked to the street to watch St Patrick’s Day festivities in New York wearing holiday themed costumes
St. Patrick’s Day festivities bring Irish cheer, parades, and parties as party-goers celebrated in the streets
Kathy Hochul (L), the first female Governor of New York State was seen gleaming as she attended the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade held in New York
Marchers proudly held American flags as they walked down fifth avenue during the 262nd St. Patrick’s Day parade
In one post cited by the feds, Kola showed support for fellow ISIS fanatic Sayfullo Saipov, 35, who was sentenced to life in prison this week for using a rented UHaul to plow into eight people on a New York City bike path in 2017.
‘May allah set you free my brother,’ Kola wrote in the post, which was penned on March 7, according to a criminal complaint aired by the attorney’s office.
The suspected terrorist added: ‘The real terrorists and thieves is the American i llum inati [sic]’
Other since nixed posts included Islamic artwork and imagery feds said coincide with those used by jihadist groups to express a desire for an all-Islamic world – one of the main tenets of the Islamic State.
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In Georgia women were seen getting ready to party on St. Patrick’s Day
The complaint further revealed that Kola had messaged Yonkers police’ social media with threats as early as 2021, with one message, written in Albanian, reading: ‘I am going to slaughter you little girls.’
Kopa has since been taken into federal custody, with agents reportedly storming his residence early Friday.
His arrest came as similar processions were staged across the country in cities like the Big Apple and Georgia, with other revelers in cities like Fort Lauderdale taking in the festivities with boozy, beachside parties attended by many.
The annual parade in New York City – which bills itself as the world’s largest and oldest – paid homage to Ireland’s patron saint and celebrated the deep Irish history interwoven with American culture.
In Washington, DC, Friday night, the White House was illuminated with a festive shade of green to celebrate the holiday.
In Ireland’s capital, a sea of green and orange crowds of half a million people took to Dublin’s streets to take part in the festive parade while revelers enjoyed pints of Guinness.
Celebrations have since gone without a hitch, though the true extent of the debauchery will likely not be known until the nation wakes up on Saturday.
The White House was illuminated in green in honor of Saint Patrick’s day, in Washington, DC
DUBLIN: Revelers dressed up to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in front of the famous Temple Bar in Dublin
Police were seen out in force during the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade held along Fifth Avenue in New York