HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office has released a video and pictures of a man they believe is connected to the fire bombing of area synagogues.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reports, they got the video through some intense investigating and are asking the public for help.
The pictures show a man authorities are calling a “person of interest” in the firebombing of a synagogue in Rutherford. Investigators say surveillance video shows him leaving a Walmart on Route 46 in Saddle Brook after buying materials to make Molotov cocktails.
“Here’s a receipt that shows duct tape, three cans of Suave aerosol spray, soda bottles and low-grade motor oil,” Prosecutor James Molinelli said.
Several Molotov cocktails were hurled at Rabbi Nossom Schuman and his family inside Congregation Beth El. One landed on the rabbi’s bed.
“I don’t recognize the suspect. I hadn’t seen him around so I can’t say that’s the one,” Rabbi Schuman said.
“I was scared,” added the rabbi’s son, Netzech Schuman.
The prosecutor said members of his department and police canvassed stores on the day of the attack looking into their data bases before coming across the video. The items were bought with cash, so investigators don’t know the identity of the man.
“There is no question that he’s connected to the firebombing incident,” Molinelli said.
In the images the man is wearing knit cap and riding a bike. Sources told Sloan the camouflage backpack he’s carrying is not military issued but a bag given out by recruiters. It’s what he put the Molotov-making items in before riding off.
The prosecutor said he may also be connected to a firebombing of a Paramus temple.
“I don’t think he was the member of the ‘A’ team considering the minimal damage that was done,” Rabbi Schuman said.
The rabbi also said through the goodwill of the public they’ve raised enough money to put up surveillance cameras at his temple.
The release of the video Friday came on a day the Postal Service is investigating hate mail sent to 20 Jewish leaders across our area, including in Bergen County.
Anyone with any information about the person in the photo is asked to contact Robert Anzilotti at the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 201-226-5651 or 551-265-3146.
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