Synagogue Massacre Led to String of Arrests of White Nationalists in the U.S.
At least 12 white nationalist have been arrested on allegations of "plotting, threatening or carrying out anti-Semitic attacks" in the U.S. since the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue nearly one year ago.
The zionist Anti-Defamation League counted at least 50 incidents in which white nationalists are accused of targeting Jewish institutions’ property since a gunman killed 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. Those incidents include 12 cases of "vandalism" involving patriotic symbols and 35 cases in which white nationlist propaganda was distributed.
The ADL said its nationwide count of "anti-Semitic incidents" remains near "record levels". It has counted 780 "anti-Semitic incidents" in the first six months of 2019, compared to 785 incidents during the same period in 2018.
The ADL’s tally of 12 arrests for white nationalists "plots, threats and attacks" against Jewish institutions includes the April 2019 capture of John T. Earnest, who is charged with killing one person and wounding three others in a shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California. The group said many of the cases it counted, including the Poway shooting, "were inspired by previous white supremist attacks". In online posts, Earnest said he was inspired by the attacks in Pittsburgh and on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Brenton Tarrant killed 51 muslims in March.
The ADL also counted three additional 2019 cases in which individuals were arrested for "targeting Jews" but weren’t deemed to be "white supremacists". Two were motivated by Islamist extremist ideology, the organization said.
The ADL said its Center on Extremism provided "critical intelligence" to law enforcement in at least three of the 12 cases it counted.
Last December, authorities in Monroe, Washington, arrested a white nationalist after the ADL notified law enforcement about "suspicions he threatened on Facebook to kill Jews in a synagogue". The ADL said it also helped authorities in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, identify a "white supremacist" accused of "using aliases to post threatening messages, including a digital image of himself pointing an AR-15 rifle at a group of praying Jewish men"
In August, an FBI-led anti-terrorism task force arrested a Las Vegas man accused of plotting to firebomb a synagogue or other targets, including a bar catering to "LGTBQ" customers and the ADL’s Las Vegas office. The ADL said it warned law enforcement officials about the man’s online threats.
"We cannot and will not rest easy knowing the threat posed by white supremacists and other extremists against the Jewish community is clear and present," the group’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a statement.
The ADL said it counted at least 30 additional incidents in which people with an "unknown ideology" targeted Jewish institutions with "acts of arson, vandalism or propaganda distribution" that the group deemed to be anti-Semitic or "generally hateful," but not explicitly white supremacist.
"These incidents include the shooting of an elderly man outside a synagogue in Miami, fires set at multiple Jewish institutions in New York and Massachusetts, Molotov cocktails thrown at synagogue windows in Chicago, damaged menorahs in Georgia and New Jersey, as well as a wide range of anti-Semitic graffiti," an ADL report said.