Uniformed guards are in place at the Jewish Community Center in Youngstown, and all synagogues in our Valley.

The cause for alarm is the arrest of a self-identified 20-year-old white nationalist from New Middletown. The Youngstown Jewish Area Federation thanked the police department and the FBI for their help after an alleged threat was posted to Instagram. 

A video allegedly posted by the 20-year-old New Middletown resident on July 11 on Instagram, shows him firing multiple rounds, which is legal. The caption under the post led to his arrest. It said, "Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as white nationalist Seamus O'Reardon."

New Middletown's police chief tells us I-R-A Seamus was the online pseudonym for James Patrick Reardon. 

New Middletown Police Chief Vince D'egidio said, "He was implying that he was going to be identified as the shooter of the Jewish Center. That kicked off a very intensive investigation,  a very rapidly evolving investigation."

The Youngstown Police Department was notified along with the security team at JCC, and the FBI was called to assist the department. With the cooperation of the agencies and courts, police served a search warrant at Reardon's mothers home on Eastwood Drive in New Middletown. They confiscated two AR-15's, a rifle with a bayonet, a 40 caliber anti-tank gun, and knives.

There were several magazines and 223 ammunition, a gas mask, and a bulletproof vest were also taken from the home.

In addition to the weapons and ammunition that were seized, Reardon's electronic devices were also taken. They will be searched and analyzed to find out if he had been radicalized or if they reveal any plans he had posted, along with sites he has searched for information.

Police also found a flask with a Confederate flag and jacket with an IRA, Irish Republican Army, patches on it.

D'Egidio added, "There were several videos that he posted on Instagram where he used a lot of derogatory remarks towards the Jewish community, and the African-American community, things of that nature."

A 2017 YouTube video and interview from the Charlottesville white supremacist rally in Virginia, shows Reardon answering a question and explaining that his parents don't agree with his views, that his mom is a union teacher, and his dad a blue-collar worker. He says that he is a white nationalist, and he wants a homeland for white people.

He was charged initially with telephone communication harassment and aggravated menacing. His bond was set at $250,000. He will be arraigned in Struthers Municipal court on Monday."

Within seven hours of receiving the information about the post, police served a search warrant and arrested Reardon.

The Youngstown Area Jewish Federation thanked New Middletown, Youngstown, and Liberty police, along with the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigations, The Secure Community Network, along with colleagues in the Pittsburgh and Cleveland Jewish communities. 

The Jewish Federation released a statement saying:

"This is a clear example of everything going right. The system worked. We take very seriously the need to be vigilant to ensure the safety of all members of the local Jewish community, as well as all members and guests of our Jewish Community Center and our other agencies. Security has become a vital part of the mission of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, a mission from which we will never waiver. We know of no other threat to the Jewish Community or to any of our agencies at this time." Nonetheless, they will maintain the additional level of security for the near future.