26-year-old man arrested for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue
A 26-year-old man faces federal charges for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue.
Nicholas Malindretos, of Clifton, New Jersey, is accused of attempting to bomb the gates of Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield over the weekend.
According to the charging documents, a surveillance camera caught Malindretos approaching the synagogue in the middle of the night while wearing a mask and gloves. Video showed the attacker walking to the entrance and igniting a fuse on top of a bottle before throwing it at the front glass doors. The synagogue was not damaged.
Malindretos was followed, in part, through his car, which was recorded near the synagogue shortly before and after the incident, the FBI said.
Federal agents found gasoline, wicks and lighters in his home, as well as a map with a 10-mile radius of potential targets, prosecutors said.
Temple Ner Tamid Rabbi Marc Katz said in a statement, “We prayed, reflected and helped each other heal from this traumatic event.”
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy met with members of the synagogue on Tuesday.
On Thursday evening, the congregation will gather with the local community and New Jersey leaders for an “evening of prayer, healing and unity.”
“We must not forget that many communities across the country have suffered violent and hateful attacks over the past few months,” Katz said.
“We hope Thursday night’s community event will be an opportunity to come together in solidarity across faiths and regions across the state, to come together, to strengthen the voices of the vast majority, and to show that ‘there is no place for violence or hatred,’ he said. said.
A federal judge in Newark on Thursday ordered Malindretos held without bail after a brief hearing.
If convicted of attempting to use fire to damage and destroy a building used in interstate commerce, Malindretos faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison.