With the arrest of a second Lodi resident, the Bergen County
Prosecutors Office (BCPO) says that it has resolved all the executed and
planned attacks on area synagogues that took place in December and
Nineteen-year-old Aakash Dalal was arraigned on Monday as
co-conspirator in the most dangerous attacks, in which firebombs were
thrown into the rabbi’s residence at Congregation Beth El in Rutherford.
According to Prosecutor John Molinelli, who announced the arrest at an
afternoon press conference on Friday, March 2, Dalal has been friends
since middle school with Anthony M. Graziano, who was arrested in
January and charged with nine counts of attempted murder for the
Rutherford attack.Dalal pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. He and Graziano are being held on $2.5 million bond each at the Bergen County jail.
The prosecutor said Dalal orchestrated all five anti-Semitic
incidents, which began in December with anti-Semitic graffiti
spray-painted on synagogues in Maywood and Hackensack, and concluded
with a planned, but never executed, attack on the Jewish Community
Center of Paramus.
Following Graziano’s arrest, a message fingering Dalal as the
mastermind was anonymously posted in the comments of news reports about
the arrest, including on The Jewish Standard’s website.
“I have personally known anthony for a few years now. he is not
mentally all there he needs help, he shouldn’t be serving his time in
prison he should be placed in a psychiatric hospital. he has been
influenced/taking under the wing by and individual named aakash dalal.
this individual has put thoughts into his head that rich upper class
people of the jewish community are going to take over the world. I
believe that this individual made anthony commit these actions to aid in
‘the movement’ dalal is trying to create.”
The Jewish Standard forwarded the message to the BCPO, which
began investigating Dalal and obtained text messages exchanged by the
On the day of Graziano’s arrest, a letter to the editor signed by
Aakash Dalal was published on the website of the Rutgers student
newspaper, The Daily Targum, defending Republican presidential candidate
Ron Paul and attacking the Federal Reserve. It identified Dalal as a sophomore majoring in chemistry and biological sciences.
Acquaintances of Dalal described him as someone who was difficult to get along with, and an atheist who hated religion.
“I got into arguments with him for his views on Muslims, Jews,
and pretty much any religion,” wrote Ishan Patel at the NJ.com website.
“The kid was very smart in high school, but people including myself
thought he was weird.”
Dalal’s attorney said that while text messages show communication
between Dalal and Graziano, that itself is not criminal. The text
messages show Graziano boasting of his attack on the Rutherford
synagogue, and Dalal egging him on. Dalal was not actually at the
attack, for which Graziano faces nine counts of attempted murder,
because he was in New Hampshire campaigning for Ron Paul, Dalal’s attorney said.http://jstandard.com/content/item/security_at_home2/22335
Aakash Dalal, seen here with Rep. Ron Paul,
for whom he campaigned in New Hampshire, is alleged to have
masterminded synagogue attacks in December and January. The photograph
was posted on Dalal’s Facebook page.
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