A Wilmington man was arrested and charged Tuesday in connection with alleged threats he made on Facebook suggesting he would burn a Roxbury Islamic center and harm other Muslims.
Authorities said Patrick Keogan, 44, of Wilmington, allegedly posted the threats on the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center’s Facebook page last November.
Keogan’s posts included an image of a mosque in flames with superimposed text reading “burn your local mosque,” with the added comment, “Hello scumbags,” authorities said. The man is also accused of posting the same image on the Islamic Society of Northeastern University’s homepage.
Authorities received a search warrant to search Keogan’s Facebook account and said they discovered he had been posting messages endorsing the burning of mosques since as early as 2013. After an Islamic Center in Joplin, Missouri, suffered roof damage in an arson attack, Keogan allegedly wrote, “Somewhere out there is an unknown hero. The people’s champion. A true God amongst mortal men. May your days be many & troubles be few my good man.”
Just three days after he posted the message to the Cultural Center’s Facebook wall, authorities said Keogan also wrote a status update that read: “Canada enters the Mosque Burning Winter Olympics of 2016 early! Who will take the Gold? Who will take the Silver? and WHO will take the Bronze??? We’ll have to wait til the snow clears to find out folks but lets [sic] keep our fingers crossed for some fierce competition! And remember- you (yes you) are a qualified competitor of your own nation- so get out there and help your Country be number one in this winter’s Mosque Burning Olympics!”
Investigators said other evidence they discovered in Keogan’s Facebook account indicated he continued to buy and sell guns and ammunition, despite his status as a convicted felon.
Police obtained a warrant to place a GPS tracker on Keogan’s car, which allegedly traced him to a gun store in New Hampshire, where he allegedly bought three boxes of bullets.
Keogan’s next date in court was not immediately available.