On the morning of Friday, March 17th, Yonkers resident Ridon Kola was arrested on charges related to threats of violence he made online against Yonkers Police, the Mayor, and the residents of Yonkers. His arrest occurred one day before he was suspected to commit an act of terror on the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day parade along McLean Ave.
Threats of Terror
In numerous messages beginning on November 19th, 2021, Kola posted on social media warning the YPD of his intent to murder police and residents within the city. The first message, translated from Albanian, reads, “I am going to slaughter you little girls.” Subsequently, Yonkers Police interviewed Kola, but he claimed he had no real intent to harm. However, in early 2023, Kola ramped up his verbal assault online with threats of “jihad.” And he appeared to align himself with terrorist groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, better known as “ISIS.” On March 6th, Kola sent a direct message saying, “[…] no matter what happens to me there will never be peace in this country anymore!“
And in more recent days, these threats became even more specific. In both public and private messages to the YPD, Kola escalated his rhetoric to what appeared to be an actionable plan. Meaning, Kola now began to include a specific time and location for his threats. On March 9th he wrote, “I will crucify Yonkers cops and their bosses all along McLean ave. It will be a horror scene…Allahu Ekberr.” This location was apparently in reference to the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day parade. The parade will be held tomorrow, Saturday 18th on McLean Ave. Here, dozens of Police and hundreds of residents will be gathered to celebrate the Irish Catholic holiday. To heighten the threat, Kola then posted a photograph of himself with an axe. This photo was captioned with Albanian text translating in English to, “Come on Judas, I’m waiting for you.”
The Arrest of Ridon Kola
In a joint operation by the FBI, NYPD, and YPD, Kola was arrested in the early morning of Friday March 17th at his home in South Yonkers. A home that is very close to the parade route. YPD Commissioner Chris Sapienza assured residents that, with Kola’s arrest, “[the] City will enjoy a safe Saint Patrick’s Day parade tomorrow free from intimidation by bad actors.” Mayor Mike Spano also released a statement in regards to keeping the parade safe.
Yonkers is proud to host one of New York’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades. And threats like this will not intimidate us from celebrating the many contributions of our Irish American community.Mike Spano – Mayor of Yonkers
Kola will be in White Plains federal court today on charges related to making threatening interstate communications. In a statement by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, he assures that “threatening violence against police or to undermine public safety will not be tolerated, as Kola now stands charged and faces prison time for his threats against our dedicated law enforcement partners tasked with keeping us safe.“