- Federal authorities have accused a New Jersey man of ordering the vandalism of synagogues in Michigan and Wisconsin in September.
- According to a criminal complaint filed last Tuesday and unsealed on Wednesday, 18-year-old Richard Tobin allegedly directed members of a white supremacist organization to deface the synagogues with swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols.
- Tobin’s arrest comes as the US grapples with a “record-high” number of anti-Semitic incidents, the Anti-Defamation League said in October.
Richard Tobin, an 18-year-old from Brooklawn, New Jersey, allegedly directed members of a white supremacist organization, referred to as “Group 1” in court filings, to attack the two synagogues with swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols. “To the best of my knowledge, nothing like this has ever happened before,” Rabbi Martyn Adelberg, of Beth Israeli Sinai Congregation in Racine Wisconsin, told The Journal Timesfollowing the attack.
Tobin told an FBI agent in October that he directed members of Group 1 to vandalize properties throughout the country, launching “Operation Kristallnacht” (in reference to the 1938 pogrom in Nazi Germany, in which Nazis torched synagogues, vandalized properties, and killed around 100 Jews) with other members to “tag the sh-t” out of synagogues. The September attacks were carried out by the “Great Lakes cell” of Group 1, he said.