Former Cornell University student pleads guilty to posting antisemitic threats online News
Dantes De MonteCristo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Former Cornell University student pleads guilty to posting antisemitic threats online

Former Cornell University student Patrick Dai pleaded guilty to making a threat using interstate communications against the university’s Jewish students.

On October 28 and 29, 2023, Dai anonymously posted several antisemitic threats of violence against Cornell students in an online discussion forum. One of his posts stated:

if I see a pig male jew I will stab you and slit your throat. if I see another pig female jew I will drag you away and rape you and throw you off a cliff. if i see another pig baby jew I will behead you in front of your parents. if I see another synagogue another rally for the zionist globalist genocidal apartheid dictatorial … ‘Isreal’, I will bring an assault rifle to campus and shoot all you pig jews. jews are human animals and deserve a pigs death … From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!

The FBI was informed of Dai’s posts on October 30, 2023, by the Cornell University Police and an FBI tip-line user. After the FBI gained the IP addresses of the posts from the website, the internet service provider associated with the IP addresses provided the FBI with the identity and residence of Dai. The following day, Dai was interviewed by the FBI and arrested after he admitted that the posts were his.

His sentencing hearing will be on August 12, 2024. The maximum penalties he could face are five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a supervised release of three years immediately after imprisonment.

Dai’s posts have been part of a larger trend of antisemitic rhetoric ever since Hamas’s attack in Israel on October 7, 2023. The FBI alleged that Dai’s threats obstructed Jewish students’ ability to pursue their education at Cornell, reporting that some Jewish students relocated off campus in response to the threats. In a press release, U.S. Attorney Carla Freedman for the Northern District of New York stated, “The federal felony conviction [Dai] sustain[ed]…underscores that those who break the law by making violent threats will be found and prosecuted, even if they attempt to hide by posting anonymously.”