Suspect wanted for attempted arson at Ner Tamid temple

Law enforcement are on the hunt for a hateful creep who threw a Molotov cocktail at the front door of a New Jersey synagogue early Sunday.

CCTV showed a man wearing a ski mask approaching the front of the Ner Tamid temple at around 3:20 a.m. with the Molotov cocktail before lighting it and throwing it at the door. This was announced by the Bloomfield Division of Public Safety. The suspect then fled down the driveway.

The device’s glass shattered, but it caused no damage to the temple, police said. Nobody was inside at the time.

Authorities have described the attempted arson as a “biased incident”. A joint investigation is underway involving local detectives, the FBI, ATF and the Essex County Attorney’s Office, Bloomfield officials said.

Police released two images of the suspect in their press release on Sunday.

A temple official found the broken bottle and gasoline around 9:30 a.m., Rabbi Marc Katz told the Bergen Record. Sunday activities in the synagogue have been cancelled.

One of two images of the suspect holding a Molotov cocktail.
A joint investigation into the suspect is underway.
Bloomfield Police Department

“People are on heightened alert for this reason and are rightly concerned about the state of antisemitism because it has been so prevalent lately,” Katz told the newspaper, adding. “Even so, I don’t think anyone ever expects their community to be attacked.”

The temple previously improved security measures, including shatterproof barriers over the glass of the windows and doors, Katz also said, stressing “that we were able to avert the worst” because the Molotov cocktail didn’t burst past the doors.

police nearby said Livingston They would have “increased our patrols in our temples” until more information about the attack on the Ner Tamid temple emerges.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, representing the Garden State’s 11th house district, said she was “heartbroken” by the incident.

“While I am grateful that the damage was minimal and no one was injured, today I am heartbroken and angry,” she said in a statement. “Anti-Semitic hatred is on the rise in our state, our country, and around the world, and we must all work together to eradicate it.”

New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin said his office worked with law enforcement to find the suspect.

He also said his office was also investigating another “possibly biased” attack on members of a Monmouth County church that took place Saturday, although he gave no further details.

“We recognize the fact that these attacks have taken place as violence continues to erupt in Israel and as our own nation anticipates violence at home,” Platkin said in a statement.

“I want to reassure all New Jerseyers — especially our friends and neighbors from the Black community and the Jewish faith — that law enforcement will continue to take the appropriate steps to increase our presence in the sensitive locations so everyone in our state can worship love, and live without fear of violence or threat.” Suspect wanted for attempted arson at Ner Tamid temple


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