BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A man accused of threatening to burn down New England’s largest mosque and making other threats to the Muslim community is being held without bail.
Suburban Boston resident Patrick Keogan made his initial appearance in federal court Tuesday on charges of making online threats and being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition. He didn’t enter a plea. He’s due back in court Thursday.READ MORE: Vietnam Memorial In Boston's Fenway Rose Garden Vandalized
Authorities allege in November he posted an image depicting a mosque in flames on the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center’s Facebook page with the message: “Burn your local mosque.” They say he also included the statement “Hello scumbags” and a smiley face emoji in his post.
Mosque executive director Yusufi Vali says he’s grateful law enforcement pursued a complaint about the posting.
Lisa Dahlquist grew up with Keogan and said she doesn’t think “he would ever hurt anybody.”READ MORE: 'Abnormal Odors' Reported In Charles River; Natick Recommends No Swimming Or Boating
“His bark is worse than his bite. People are mistaking him for something he’s not,” said Dahlquist.
“He’s a good guy. Maybe there is a problem there and maybe he will get help for it now. I hope so.”
Keogan previously was accused of threatening members of Congress. He allegedly told investigators he “drinks too much” and “needs to smarten up.”
Keogan’s attorney has declined to comment.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)MORE NEWS: 'They Put Children In Danger': Understaffed New Hampshire Camp Quinebarge Shuts Down After 6 Days
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports