(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 3/3/20) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today welcomed the arrest made in connection with threatening messages sent to Paterson Police Chief over his religion.

Passaic County Prosecutor’s office announced the arrest of 28 year old Stefan Keco for sending threatening text messages to Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora, who was officially sworn in on February 4, 2020. Chief Baycora became the first Muslim American Chief in the Paterson Police Department and is a first generation Turkish-American immigrant.

Stefan Keco was charged with two counts of Terroristic Threats, a crime of the third degree and one count of Bias Intimidation, a crime of the second degree. The charges allege that Keco sent threatening text messages to Chief Baycora with the purpose to intimidate him because of the Chief’s religion, race and national origin. The State has filed a motion for pretrial detention of Mr. Keco, which is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.


SEE: Prosecutor says man threatened Paterson police chief due to race, religion


SEE: Clifton man texted threats to Paterson police chief Baycora due to his religion



In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said: “There must be zero tolerance for such religiously and racially charged threats especially in our time of heightened xenophobia and Islamophobia. We thank the Paterson police department for their swift response.”

“Amid reports of a rise in hate crime violence, it is more important than ever to take action against such threats whenever and wherever we see them,” said Maksut.


CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance the understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.