Investigators in a New Jersey town are searching for the man who threw a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue early Sunday, an incident that coincides with fears about rising antisemitism.
Surveillance footage showed a suspect — believed to be a white male — approach the front door of the Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield Township at 3:19 a.m. with the firebomb, which is typically a bottle with a flammable substance inside of it.
The suspect threw the Molotov cocktail at the front door before fleeing down the driveway. Township police said the bottle broke but did not damage the synagogue.
Police responded to the synagogue later in the morning and are working with the county prosecutor and federal partners at the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The attack coincides with general fears of growing anti-Jewish sentiment and hate crimes in recent years. A gunman opened fire on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, killing 11 Jewish worshippers, and the 2017 far-right protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, featured marchers chanting, “Jews will not replace us.”
More recently, rapper Ye lost sponsorship deals after he went on antisemitic rants and former President Donald Trump denied knowing Nick Fuentes, an online personality who posts antisemitic screeds, after Mr. Fuentes and Ye dined at his Florida estate.
Police in nearby Livingston, New Jersey, said they are on the lookout for suspicious activity after the Bloomfield attack.
“We are aware of an attempted arson attack on a temple in Bloomfield NJ earlier this morning,” the department tweeted. “ As a result we have increased our patrols of our temples and will continue to do so until more information is obtained. If you see anything suspicious, please call us immediately.”