ADL: Tree of Life Shooting Inspired More Threats Against Synagogues
There have been multiple attempted attacks on synagogues since the shooting at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, the Anti-Defamation League reported Monday — including at least one directly inspired by the Pittsburgh shooter.
The ADL’s Center on Extremism has been monitoring the attempted attacks, all of which were thwarted. The organization found four significant incidents targeting synagogues since the Pittsburgh massacre.
November 23: A U.S. citizen from Somalia allegedly attempted to run over two people outside a synagogue in a densely Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles. The suspect, Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, was heard yelling “hateful remarks regarding Jewish heritage and regarding these people of faith,” according to police reports. No one was hurt, and Mohamed was arrested. His case is being viewed as a hate crime.
December 7: A man was arrested at his mother’s home in Washington after he made violent threats online about attacking synagogues. In one post, Dakota Reed made a call to “take back your future one synagogue at a time” and another claimed he would “make the news some more and shoot some Jews in 2025.”
December 10: A man who pledged loyalty to ISIS was arrested for allegedly planning an attack on a synagogue in Ohio. Damon Joseph told an undercover agent, who lured him with the promise of a duffel bag with two semi-automatic rifles, that he supported “martyrdom operations” and was inspired by the Tree of Life synagogue shooter. He also said he wanted to kill a rabbi.
December 14: David Brener was arrested in North Hollywood after he covered his face with a scarf and wielded a machete outside a synagogue.
The report also detailed the November arrest of white supremacist Jeffrey Clark, who had obtained weapons and had posted online about the Pittsburgh gunman being his “hero” and his dreams of attacking Jews.
There were also multiple instances of vandalism at synagogues around the country, as well as defacements of memorials honoring the 11 Pittsburgh shooting victims.
Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher