A Wilmington man pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with threats made on Facebook to burn down a local mosque following the terrorist attacks in Paris, France, in Nov. 2015, the US Attorney’s office announced.
Patrick Keogan, 44, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston to two counts of making a threat over Facebook to injure or intimidate another individual or to unlawfully damage or destroy a building by means of fire, said the statement.
He also pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of child pornography and one illegal firearms charge.
Keogan’s threats were directed at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) in Roxbury.
He posted an image that depicted a mosque on fire with lettering that said “Burn you local mosque,” as well as the statement “Hello scumbags,” accompanied with a smiley face emoji, according to prosecutors.
He also posted the same threatening message to the Facebook page of the Islamic Society of Northeastern University.
Authorities searched Koegan’s Facebook page and discovered multiple posts, dating back to 2013, that supported the burning of mosques.
A search of Keogan’s Facebook account also determined that he had been stockpiling firearms and ammunition.
Authorities placed a GPS tracking device on Keogan’s car, which tracked his route to a New Hampshire gun store where he bought two boxes of 8mm rifle ammunition and two bags of loose 8mm rifle ammunition that he drove directly to his Wilmington residence in May, 2016.
In July 2016, Keogan was arrested and authorities who searched his home found a weapons cache that included light machine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, and thousands of ammunition rounds.
A search of his iPhone and iPad revealed that Keogan was also in possession of child pornography.
He is due back in court for a sentencing hearing on May 15.