🔥 Federal prosecutors said investigators found gasoline and a map of targets in the home of Nicholas Malindretros

✡ He is charged with throwing a firebomb at a Bloomfield synagogue

‍👮 Officials said they're committed to investigating hate crimes targeting religion

CLIFTON — Investigators found flammable items and a concerning map when they searched the home of a man charged with throwing a Molotov cocktail at a Bloomfield synagogue early Sunday morning, according to federal prosecutors.

Nicholas Malindretos, 26, appeared in Newark federal court on one count of attempted use of fire to damage and destroy a building used in interstate commerce on Thursday. A judge ordered him to remain in custody after prosecutors warned that he would "present a danger to the community."

The Clifton man is accused of walking up the driveway of Temple Ner Tamid around 3 a.m. Sunday, lighting a homemade firebomb and throwing it at the Jewish temple. Instead of setting the building on fire, the glass bottle broke against the front door leaving a small puddle of gasoline.

Authorities said a search of Malindretos's home turned up gasoline, wicks, and lighters. Investigators also found a map noting a "ten-mile radius of targets" including police and military targets.

A man in a ski mask lights a Molotov Cocktail to throw at a Bloomfield synagogue 1/29/23. (Bloomfield police)
(Bloomfield police)

🛑 'Hate crimes have got to stop'

While Malindretos was not charged with a bias crime as of Thursday, law enforcement officials gathered outside the federal court building in Newark as a show of unity against hate.

Philip Sellinger, US attorney for the District of New Jersey, said the charge against Malindretos carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

"No one should fear for their lives because of the exercise of their religion," Sellinger said.

Philip Sellinger (DOJ/Townsquare Media)
(DOJ/Townsquare Media)

State Attorney General Matthew Platkin added that the investigation was a collaborative effort between law enforcement.

"We will not stop working tirelessly to protect you and make sure that you can live, worship, and enjoy your life freely and safely no matter who you are or how you pray," Platkin said.

"Hate crimes have got to stop," Jim Dennehy, special agent in charge at the Newark FBI office, said. "But until they do, the FBI and all of our partners will make it one of our top priorities to investigate them and bring them to resolve."

READ MORE: Arrest made in firebombing of Bloomfield, NJ synagogue

Synagogue Attempted Arson

Malindretos was arrested on Wednesday. Federal prosecutors said a license plate reader in the area captured a vehicle arriving at and leaving around the time of the incident. Authorities said the vehicle belongs to Malindretros and video cameras recorded a man matching his description exiting the vehicle.

Temple Ner Tamid is hosting an interfaith rally against hate Thursday evening. Rabbi Marc Katz said the rally will feature readings from pastors, rabbis, and imams as well as appearances from elected officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

How much does the average NJ home cost? Median prices by county

Everything is costing more these days — and housing is certainly no exception in New Jersey.

Data for 2022 from January through August, compiled by New Jersey Realtors, shows that South Jersey has been seeing homes hit the market and sell in less than a month, on average.

Median prices for single-family homes have reached $500,000 and above in nine counties in North and Central Jersey.

All but two counties have seen houses go for more than the list price, on average, this year.

The 99 top paying jobs in New Jersey

How much do you make? These are the occupations in New Jersey with the highest median annual compensation. Source: Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM