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Attack near New York: assailant made reference to Hitler

Grafton Thomas is accused of entering an armed rabbi, a “big knife, like a machete or a saber”, on Saturday evening and of hitting several people.

Un man accused of stabbing five people in a rabbi’s house on Saturday during a Jewish holiday was charged Monday by the US federal government with hate crimes, prosecutors showing sympathy for Nazism and Adolf Hitler.

According to court documents, Grafton Thomas, 37, had expressed his anti-Semitic ideas in personal writings, where he referred to “Nazi culture” and drew swastikas. He also allegedly searched the internet for the phrase “Why Hitler hated Jews” and the address for “Zionist temples”.

According to the American federal authorities, “hate crimes” are a special category of criminal offenses in which the victims have in common that they have been targeted because of their membership, real or supposed, of a racial group or a religion, or because of their gender identity or disability.

The charges come when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio denounced a “crisis” and “a growing problem of anti-Semitism” in the United States. “Hate environment has spread across the country,” he said on Monday, detailing a series of measures to protect the large Jewish community in New York City after the assault on Saturday night’s party Jewish woman from Hanukkah, Monsey, some 50 kilometers north of the city.

Grafton Thomas pleaded not guilty

“We believe it is a crisis. There is truly a growing problem of anti-Semitism throughout this country. It is taking on an increasingly violent form, ”he added on American public radio NPR. “The forces of hatred have been unleashed and greater latitude has been given to hate speech. And that partly has to do with the reality of Washington “, where Republican President Donald Trump lives and where Congress sits,” and partly with social networks, “said the Democratic mayor.

Charged, in particular, with attempted homicide, the suspect, Grafton Thomas, pleaded not guilty on Sunday. He is accused of having entered a rabbi’s house armed with a “big knife, like a machete or a saber”, on Saturday evening, then of having beaten several people.

Five people were injured and hospitalized. Authorities did not state their health, but local media reported one seriously injured. Donald Trump called on Sunday to “eradicate” the “scourge of anti-Semitism”. This attack comes against a backdrop of mounting anti-Semitic attacks in the United States.

Bill de Blasio also announced an intensification of police patrols as well as the creation of neighborhood committees responsible for preventing hate crimes. New York will also target young people with a third measure focused on education, including a “program focused on anti-Semitism and the danger caused by hatred,” de Blasio added.

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