Man Accused of Threatening Arson to Boston's Largest Mosque

US District Attorney Carmen Ortiz says Patrick Keogan's threat came just a day after the Paris terror attack in November 2015

A convicted Massachusetts felon was arrested and charged Tuesday for allegedly making threats on social media to burn down a local mosque and hurt Muslims a day after the Paris attacks, authorities said.

Patrick Keogan, 44, of Wilmington was ordered to remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Thursday after facing a judge in Boston Tuesday afternoon. Although a plea wasn't entered, Keogan faces a criminal complaint alleging he made a threat over Facebook to injure or intimidate another individual. He is also charged with unlawfully possessing ammunition.

Federal prosecutors say Keogan's threat came just a day after terror attacks left 130 people dead and 360 others hurt in Paris in November 2015. ISIS claimed responsibility.

Keogan allegedly posted a photo on the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center's Facebook page depicting a mosque in flames with the worlds "Burn Your Local Mosque" and wrote "hello scumbags" with a smiley face emoji in the caption.

"Obviously when one of these threats happen, there's concern and concern for the safety of our community," said Yusufi Valiu, Executive Director of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center.

The comments on social media had federal authorities at Keogan's home throughout the day on Tuesday.

"It is kind of disturbing to see it in your own neighborhood," said Rosey Wolfe. "But I know it's not unusual."

Lisa Dahlquist said she went to high school with Keogan.

"I just take it as you know, just another comment from Pat, you know," said Dahlquist. "I think perhaps it was just talk. I don' know him to be a violent person."

Investigators also found posts on Keogan's Facebook profile condoning the burning of mosques dating back to 2013, authorities said.

Based on his Facebook activity, Keogan continued to buy, sell, trade, build, modify, possess and shoot firearms and ammunition, which, as a convicted felon on probation, is illegal, court documents show.

This isn't the first time the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center has been threatened. Last December, an Iowa man was sentenced after threatening to kill Muslims on its Facebook page.

Keogan told authorities he did not plan to harm any Muslims or cause damage to any mosque. He's being held pending a detention hearing later in the week.

Contact Us