News

Two Men Indicted In String Of N.J. Synagogue Firebombings

Anthony Graziano (credit: CBS 2)

Anthony Graziano (credit: CBS 2)

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork)Two men were indicted Friday for a series of attacks on synagogues in New Jersey, Bergen County prosecutors said.

Anthony Graziano and Aakash Dalal have been indicted for the month-long string of attacks which included the attempted murder of Rabbi Neil Schuman, the firebombing of Temple Beth El Rutherford and Temple Beth El Hackensack, prosecutors said.

Graziano is also charged with nine counts of first degree attempted murder, three counts of bias intimidation, conspiracy, and aggravated arson. Dalal faces bias intimidation, conspiracy, and aggravated arson charges. If convicted, Graziano could get 30 years to life. Dalal could face up to 30 years in prison.

Graziano, of Lodi, was 19 when he was arrested for the series of attacks that took place from Dec. 2011-Jan. 2012. Prosecutors have said Graziano confessed to firebombing a synagogue in Paramus and a home and synagogue in Rutherford. Graziano has pleaded not guilty. He’s being held on $2.5 million bail.

Aakash Dalal (credit: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office)

Aakash Dalal (credit: Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office)

Dalal, also 19 at the time, pleaded not guilty. He’s being held on $5.5 million bail.

Prosecutors contend Dalal encouraged and inspired Graziano to carry out firebombings, saying that “Dalal was the teacher” and Graziano “was the student.”

“It was Mr. Dalal that directed in how to make it, how often to throw it, how to throw it in a way that it would cause the most damage,” Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said last March. “Mr. Dalal was actually the instigator of these incidents, advised Mr. Graziano where on the Internet he could find out how to make a Molotov cocktail.”

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.