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Bergen County rabbi's residence firebombed

Police and prosecutors are investigating the firebombing of a rabbi's residence on the second floor of a Rutherford, New Jersey, synagogue, calling it a possible hate crime and possible attempted murder.

According to media sources quoting law enforcement, the incident involved the flinging of a number of incendiary devices, including Molotov cocktails, at the Jewish religious leader's bedroom a little over a week ago.

Investigators stated that it was possible that more than one person was involved in the attack. The attack occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m., with one of the devices thrown right through the bedroom window.

Other devices hit other portions of the structure.

The rabbi and his family were asleep at the time; no one suffered a serious injury.

The device thrown into the bedroom did not explode, but did ignite a fire, which the rabbi managed to put out relatively quickly, suffering some minor burns in the process.

His parents, wife, and five children were all on the premises at the time of the attack.

Police stated that there have been three other incidents at Jewish religious institutions in northern New Jersey in the prior three weeks.

A fire at a Paramus synagogue was allegedly intentionally started on Jan. 3 in the morning using an accelerant, and synagogues in Maywood and Hackensack reported finding graffiti which they claimed was anti-Semitic.

The Bergen County prosecutor indicated that there is, as of yet, no evidence showing any connection between the four incidents, but that such a connection could not be ruled out. No arrests have been made in any of the cases.

Source: Associated Press: "Prosecutor: NJ synagogue residence firebombed," Samantha Henry, Jan. 12, 2012

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