Synagogue Attack Sparks Concern Across The Region [AUDIO]
The firebombing of a Rutherford synagogue is being classified as a hate-crime and attempted homicide…and law enforcement officials are calling on the public to help them solve the case. Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli says fortunately, a rabbi and 8 members of his family - who were inside the synagogue when someone tossed several Molotov cocktails through a second story window - are alright, but the shock waves from this case are significant - and all law enforcement agencies across the region are being asked "to have a heightened degree of awareness of what is going on, and certainly a heightened level of awareness on all community-based and religious institutions, not just those that are synagogues...I don't think this is the type of an offense that we should just have a higher level of awareness in the Jewish community…the crime is so substantial that I would be reluctant to limit it to that - we're looking at people now that I think perhaps have a motive that we haven't been able to iron out yet."
He says the message to the person or persons involved in this depraved act is simple - "go to the people that you did it with, go to your loved ones, go to your siblings, go see your lawyer, and come in- and turn yourself in, and end this now…because if you don't, we will find you and convict you, and the sentence will be harsh…40 to 50 years in prison."
Molinelli adds "we need help - we need all of law enforcement and we need the public to have a higher level of awareness…we want everyone to be aware of what's happening, because generally, at the end of the day when we solve these cases, it's often from what somebody sees, what somebody hears, and what somebody else knows."
North Jersey Congressman Steve Rothman says the U.S. Justice Department will assist in the investigation, and he wants all Jersey residents to know "this is not Bagdad or Damascus…this is Bergen County, New Jersey, this is Northern New Jersey…we are not going to rest until we catch the perpetrators of this heinous crime - and we will catch them."
He adds "if you attack one religious faith, you're really attacking all religious faiths - and we must unite as a community to be on our toes, to protect our friends and neighbors from attack and assault- I believe with great certainty that our law enforcement partners will catch these criminals and bring them to justice."