A masked person threw a Molotov cocktail at the front door of a synagogue in New Jersey.
The federal US attorney’s office in New Jersey said Nicholas Malindretos, 26, was arrested in connection with the attempted arson attack of the Temple Ner Tamid synagogue in Bloomfield. The attack happened around 3 am on January 29, when a masked perpetrator threw a Molotov cocktail at the synagogue’s front door.
The man wearing a ski mask and a shirt that appeared to have the image of a skull and crossbones was caught on a security camera, and an image was distributed by the police. Thanks to the relatively clear image, which included a licence plate belonging to Mr Malindretos, he has been charged with one count of attempted use of fire to damage and destroy a building used in interstate commerce. The charge carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine of $250,000.
The building suffered only superficial damage, which Rabbi Marc Katz attributed to the latest safety investments made over the past years, funded mainly by state homeland security grants. The synagogue has added shatterproof glass to its door and upgraded its security cameras.
Photo credit: Bloomfield Police Department