New York City police are questioning a suspect accused of making “terroristic threats” against the LGBT Community Center in Greenwich Village, officials announced over the Memorial Day weekend.
The 27-year-old detainee, whom police declined to identify because he is the target of several other ongoing investigations, is said to be an “ultra-conservative Trump supporter”, according to detectives close to the case. “We believe this individual. acting alone, sent several threatening e-mails to the LGBT center,” Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce noted, “immediately following the Manchester, England bombings, so we acted swiftly in response.”
No explosives or other weapons were found during an early-morning search of the West 13th Street building by the Bomb Squad, and the facility operated normally throughout the weekend. as a precaution, the MTA suspended subway service through the area while the investigation was underway, but restored operations shortly after the all-clear was given. “We take all these threats very seriously,” Boyce observed, “as prudence demands“.
The suspect was arrested after a trace of his IP address to his Staten Island home, where he was taken into custody without incident. He’s been on the NYPD’s radar, sources said, as “a person known to have access to explosives“. The suspect is currently being held without bail pending outstanding New Jersey warrants for “undisclosed felonies”, court sources acknowledged.
The threat against the LGBT Center comes on the eve of Pride Month, which commemorates the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion. NYPD sources say they have received no further threats against the LGBT community, but the agency indicated it will provide “enhanced security” at the many Pride events scheduled throughout the city in the month of June. “This is in addition to our normally high level of vigilance against terrorism in general,” Boyce stressed.
The city has been on high alert since May 22, when an inebriated motorist went on a rampage through Times Square, plowing his vehicle into a lunch-hour crowd. 24 people were seriously hurt and one pedestrian was killed at the scene. Mayor Bill De Blasio promised “safe, secure Pride celebrations at every venue, in every borough“. Up to two million attendees and participants are expected for the June 25 Pride March down Fifth Avenue.