Police are searching for a man who threw a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey church early Sunday morning.
The man threw the flammable device at the front door of Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, a township about 7 miles north of Newark, at around 3:19 a.m., Bloomfield police said.
Security video recorded him turning on the device, throwing it at the door and fleeing down the driveway, authorities said, adding that the glass bottle shattered but did not damage the building.
Police went to the temple at 9:30 a.m. Sunday after a report of property damage.
Bloomfield detectives are investigating along with local prosecutors, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, authorities said.
Temple Ner Tamid officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to NBC New YorkThe temple’s rabbi, Marc Katz, said in a statement: “We have and will continue to do everything in our power to keep our community safe. Everything worked as it should. Our cameras recorded the incident and our impact resistant doors held up. But what I can’t do is convince our community not to get discouraged. There is hate everywhere, and hate wins when we let it in.»
Katz told the station that the temple recently upgraded its security with a grant from the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
Police in Livingston, a township about 15 miles west of Bloomfield, said sunday they were increasing patrols of local temples «and will continue to do so until more information is obtained.»
New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin said in a statement that his office was aware of that attempted attack and another on a church in Monmouth County on Saturday, which they are investigating «as potentially motivated by bias,» he said.
It was not immediately clear if there was any link between the incidents.
«Let me be clear: There is no place for violence or hate in New Jersey and I strongly condemn these acts,» said Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. tweeted.
Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia said on Facebook: «Hate and anti-Semitism will not be tolerated and will have no place in our welcoming community. Our thoughts and prayers are with our entire Jewish community.»
The Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey also condemned the attempted attack in a statement, noting that it comes at a time of rising anti-Semitism and just months after the FBI warned of threats to New Jersey synagogues.
The FBI later said it had identified the source of the threat and the person no longer poses a danger. The man, Omar Alkattoul, 18, of Sayreville, was arrested and charged with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, authorities said.
“We urge our community leaders and partners to speak out against this scandalous act and ask that all communities remain vigilant, although we have not been made aware of any particular additional threats to Jewish institutions in New Jersey at this time,” the League said. Anti-defamation. of New York and New Jersey said in his statement.
A study the organization published last spring found a 27% increase in antisemitic propaganda in 2021 compared to 2020. More recently, several companies cut ties with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, after he made a series of antisemitic comments.
Ye’s comments appeared to inspire other anti-Semitic incidents, including an anti-Semitic hate group that hung a «Kanye was right» banner over a Los Angeles freeway in October and an attack on an elderly man in New York City’s Central Park. York, which the assailant was wearing. while he said «Kanye 2024» and anti-Semitic comments. police later identified the suspect in this latest incident Like Perin Jacobchuk.