Discord tips off FBI to 13-year-old’s synagogue mass shooting plot


(NEW YORK) — Weeks before the start of the Israel-Hamas war, which sparked increasing incidents of antisemitism, online platform Discord tipped off the FBI that a teenager in one of its online spaces had discussed shooting up a Jewish temple in Ohio.

In an emailed statement to ABC News, Discord Vice President of Trust & Safety John Redgrave spoke about the news of the minor suspect’s arrest.

“Discord’s Counter-Extremism analysts proactively detected, removed, and reported this user to the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center, which is what led to the user’s arrest. We have a zero-tolerance policy against hate and violent extremism, and when we see it, we take immediate action. It is a top priority for Discord to ensure a safe experience for our users,” Redgrave said.

ABC News reached out to Discord to confirm a report that court documents filed in the Stark County Family Court Juvenile Division in Ohio said a teen has been charged with creating a “detailed plan to complete a mass shooting at the Temple Israel on the Discord platform,” according to The Canton Repository, citing court documents.

Stark County, Ohio Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Christian A. Turner confirmed to ABC News a minor suspect was arrested back in September.

“I can confirm a 13-year-old was charged with inducing panic and disorderly conduct for involvement in threats made during an online discussion. Pending an open investigation we are unable to provide any further information at this time,” Turner said.

Rabbi David Komerofsky of Temple Israel in Canton, Ohio said he would not confirm or comment on the case because it involved a minor.

When ABC News checked into the matter, two law enforcement sources said this case, though troubling, is not tied to the current heightened threat environment which has been stoked by the Israel-Hamas war which began in October.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.