After the knife attack on a Jewish Hanukkah celebration in New York, the alleged perpetrator is now also charged with hate crimes. FBI investigators said Monday that handwritten notes and evidence had been found on the cell phone that indicated an anti-Semitic motif of the man. The defendant rejected the allegation of anti-Semitism and claimed not to have been a member of a hate or hatred group.
When the man's house was searched, the investigators found diaries with anti-Semitic entries. Accordingly, it contained anti-Jewish statements, references to Adolf Hitler and the "Nazi culture" [sic!] As well as a painted swastika and a star of David. The alleged perpetrator also searched the Internet for Jewish places of worship in the region.
The man has already been charged with five attempts to kill and break in. He faces a life sentence. According to his lawyer, the alleged perpetrator has repeatedly struggled with mental illnesses in the past. A relative of the accused said the man had obsessive-compulsive disorder and sometimes washed his hands and feet with bleach several times a day. Accordingly, he recently did not take his medicine and was gone for a week. The man pleads not guilty.
The accused is accused of having broken into a rabbi's house in Monsey, north of the metropolis of New York, on Sunday night, and injured with a machete five people who were just celebrating the Hanukkah Jewish Festival of Lights. He then fled but was arrested by the police shortly afterwards. Politicians worldwide strongly condemned the attack. The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, viewed the act as terror.
13 attacks on Jews within a month
There had been a series of violent attacks on Jews in New York in December. The knife attack on Saturday evening had been the 13th anti-Semitic attack since December 8, according to Cuomo.
It was only on December 10 that two attackers in New Jersey attacked a Jewish shop killing three people after they previously shot a police officer. The attackers were shot by the officers during a shootout with the police that lasted several hours.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized the increasing hostility to Jews. "We see this as a crisis," the democrat told the radio station NPR . There is a growing anti-Semitism problem across the country. In addition, anti-Semitism is increasingly violent. An "atmosphere of hatred" has arisen, said the mayor.