ADL Welcomes Arrest In Niagara Falls Synagogue Attacks
New York, NY, February 16, 2007… The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) praised the Niagara Falls Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Niagara County's Joint Terrorism Task Force for the arrests of two teenagers suspected of repeatedly vandalizing a local synagogue. Michael S. Blount, 18, and a juvenile yesterday were charged with felony hate crimes and criminal mischief in several bias-related incidents against the synagogue during a six-month period.
"We applaud law enforcement for making this investigation a priority and for pursuing hate crime charges against the perpetrators," said Joel J. Levy, ADL New York Regional Director. "Hate crimes, be it an attack on an individual or a communal institution, can have an impact far beyond those immediately affected. Such crimes have the potential to unsettle an entire community. The message from Niagara law enforcement is clear – that any attack targeting minority group in Niagara Falls is unacceptable and will have consequences."
Vandals have repeatedly targeted Temple Beth Israel for the past two years. On January 12, the message "kill the Jews" was duct-taped on a door to the Niagara Falls temple.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.