McLean Avenue, along with Katonah Avenue, is at the heart of the New York Irish community, on the border of Bronx/Yonkers. The area is home to Irish-Americans with deep roots in the area alongside recent emigres; the area boasts a number of Irish-owned construction companies, bars, restaurants, law offices, and the like. The McLean Avenue Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is celebrated on March 18th this year, and is to be led by the St. Barnabas Parish Priest, Fr. Brendan Fitzgerald.
According to federal authorities, Ridon Kola, 32, directly messaged the Yonkers Police Department on social media, saying “I will crucify Yonkers cops and their bosses all along McLean ave. It will be a horror scene . . . Allahu Ekberr.” Kola has repatedly spouted pro-ISIS slogans on his social media page, including calls for a “jihad” (war on non-Muslims).
Yonkers police, through the Intelligence Division in collaboration with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, were quick to react to this threat, and arrested Kola on Friday, March 17th.
After the arrest, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano tweeted, “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.”
As a Yonkers-based business, we are thankful everyday for the Yonkers Police Department, but especially so today so we can celebrate our local Saint Patrick’s Day Parade safely.