A man from Millis accused of allegedly leaving voicemails threatening to kill members of the Jewish community and bomb a synagogue in Attleboro has been arrested by federal authorities, according to Acting U.S Attorney Joshua Levy.
John Reardon, 59, was arrested by authorities on Jan. 29 and charged with a criminal complaint with one count of using a facility of interstate commerce to threaten a person or place with harm via an explosive.
In a press release, Levy said Reardon was previously arrested on Jan. 25 after leaving a voicemail at Congregation Agudas Achim, a synagogue with members from Attleboro, North Attleborough, Mansfield and Plainville. The voicemail allegedly contained several threatening messages, including but not limited to, “You do realize that by supporting genocide that means it’s ok for people to commit genocide against you;” and “Guess what? We are going to use your logic —if you can kill the Palestinians, we can kill you.”
It is further alleged that, within 10 minutes of leaving the voicemail at the Congregation Agudas Achim, Reardon called another local synagogue and a local Jewish-affiliated organization, allegedly leaving similarly threatening messages. Reardon was arrested by local law enforcement after the calls were made. Four days after local officials arrested Reardon, federal officials arrested him while he was still in custody.
“The allegations here about the series of threats Mr. Reardon made against the Jewish community are deeply disturbing and reflect the increasing torrent of antisemitism across our country and right here in Massachusetts,” Levy said. “The numbers do not lie — incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia are spiking. We will continue to work every day with our federal, state and local partners to track down people who allegedly engage in such hateful conduct.”
The increasing frequency of emails and threats to Jewish houses of worship comes during an ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Israel declared war on Hamas after more than 1,000 civilians were killed in an attack targeting southern Israel on Oct. 7.
On Oct. 15, 2023, Agudas Achim received an email containing a bomb threat. This email resulted in religious services being paused and the synagogue being evacuated while police conducted a bomb search. Police found no explosives at the synagogue and determined the email to be a hoax.