Man Arrested After Five People Stabbed at Hanukkah Celebration in New York

The New York State Police’s hate crimes task force will be directed to investigate the attack, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Twitter early Sunday. He described the stabbing as a “despicable and cowardly act,”

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A man wielding a knife burst into a Hanukkah celebration at an Orthodox rabbi’s home in the town of Monsey, New York on Saturday evening, wounding five people.

Police captured the suspect, who they have identified as 37-year-old Grafton E. Thomas, in New York City hours after the attack. He has been charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary, according to the Town of Ramapo Police Department, which is investigating the case.

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The incident unfolded next to the rabbi’s synagogue in Monsey, a small town in Rockland County about 20 miles outside of New York City. Rockland County has the largest Jewish population per ca pita of any county in the United States, according to New York State. About 31.4% of the county’s residents are Jewish.

The attack comes amid growing concern about anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York and the surrounding region. In the most violent incident, four people were shot and killed in nearby Jersey City in an anti-Semitic attack that targeted a kosher deli on Dec. 10.

Just one month ago, an Orthodox man was stabbed in Monsey near a local synagogue.

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Shortly before 10 p.m. on Saturday, people had gathered at the home of Hasidic Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg next to his synagogue, Congregation Netzach Yisroel, to celebrate the seventh day of Hanukkah. Thomas allegedly burst into the gathering, according to police and the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, and stabbed five people, including one of the rabbi’s children.

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A witness, Josef Gluck, told the Associated Press that a man “came in wielding a big knife, sword, machete — I don’t know what it was.” Gluck told the AP that he hit the assailant with a coffee table.

Thomas fled in a car, but a witness spotted him driving away and gave the police his license plate number, said Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel, theAssociated Press reported. He was taken into police custody in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood. Weidel said the license plate number was “critical” to the arrest, the AP added.

Tiffany Harris was released on Saturday after punching and cursing at three Orthodox women on Friday.

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Tiffany Harris was released on Saturday after punching and cursing at three Orthodox women on Friday. Suspects arrested in last week’s spree of eight anti-Semitic attacks are being quickly released right back into the neighborhoods they terrorized thanks to “bail reform” legislation — which doesn’t even take effect until Jan. 1.
The most recent case of revolving-door justice came Saturday morning, with the release, with no bail, of a woman charged with punching and cursing at three Orthodox women, ages 22, 26 and 31, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn at dawn the day before.

 

White Supremacist Took Machete To N.J. Mall Intending To Attack Blacks

“Tobin wanted to do something drastically violent, to go out in a “blaze of glory” like a suicide bombing, authorities said.

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Menlo Park Mall Edison, NJ

Shoppers in North Central New Jersey narrowly avoided a tragic attack thanks to officials who thwarted a white supremacist who was plotting to “let loose” on Black shoppers at a local mall.

According to NJ.com, on Tuesday a Brooklawn, N.J. man identified as Richard Tobin was charged with conspiring with a hate group against the rights of minorities, including Jewish people.On the day of the planned attack, federal authorities say Tobin sat in his car, which was parked outside of the Menlo Park Mall in Edison, N.J., holding a machete and preparing to use it.

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Menlo Park Mall, Edison NJ

“Tobin said that he was triggered by the state of the country, such as when he saw a Pride parade or a large number of African Americans in one location,” FBI Special Agent Jason D. Novick wrote in court documents, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. “There were so many African Americans around [the mall] that enraged him.”

His group, a neo-Nazi social network called The Base, refers to itself a “white protection league,” and seeks to see a version of America where the country is populated only by whites. Members are encouraged to participated in military training and prepare for the end of the world.

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Neo Nazi Hate Group “The Base”

According to the report, “Tobin wanted to do something drastically violent, to go out in a “blaze of glory” like a suicide bombing, authorities said. He Googled “suicide by cop,” and read about creating an IED or car bomb similar to what was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.”

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While his internet activity may have been disturbing, what drew law enforcement to him was an investigation into two synagogues in the midwest that had been defaced with Nazi symbols and anti-Semitic words.  On Nov. 7, a search warrant was executed at Tobin’s home in which his computer and hard drives were seized and revealed his Google searches and an internet history that showed he’s been tracking articles about the crimes he’s suspected of.

Friday, Tobin appeared in federal court in Camden, N.J., and U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams ordered that he be held before a detention hearing  that 2 days ago determined that he will be held in federal custody as his case moves through the courts, documents show. Tobin appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams in Camden federal court on Friday afternoon. She denied his request to be released on bail pending a mental health evaluation and ordered him detained.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey did not want to comment on the hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Harberg told Williams there were no conditions of release that could ensure Tobin’s appearance in court and the safety of the community. She said in documents there was “strong” evidence against Tobin.

The complaint mentions several electronic records including Google searches and chat history, and Tobin also gave a lengthy interview to an FBI agent. In that interview, he displayed a fascination with bombs and mentioned wanting to go out in a “blaze of glory.” He also described sitting in his car at the mall in Edison, holding a machete and wanting to “let loose” on African American shoppers.

It’s unclear if anyone’s been charged with creating the graffiti on the synagogues.