update deskAntisemitism

ADL offers $50,000 reward for info on 1994 antisemitic murder co-conspirators

The shooter, Rashid Baz, died in jail last year. He killed Ari Halberstam and fired on 14 other yeshivah students.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced on Monday that it is offering a $50,000 reward for tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of those who were part of a 1994 attack on Jewish students.

Rashid Baz, who killed Ari Halberstam and fired upon 14 other Jewish teens on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994, died in prison last year.

Ari Halberstam Memorial Ramp
The Ari Halberstam Memorial Ramp leading up to the Brooklyn Bridge photographed in July 2014. Photo by Paul Sableman via Wikipedia.

The students were returning from a prayer vigil for the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who was in the hospital. Some have said that Baz’s intended target was not the boys but the Rebbe himself.

“At the time, investigators, as in other areas of law enforcement, focused on just gathering adequate evidence to gain a conviction,” Motti Seligson, director of media relations at Chabad.org, told JNS. “This was a pre-9/11 time. America did not understand how to investigate terror cases and the nature of terrorist networks and cells and how they operate.”

“The case was not adequately investigated, and all leads were not exhausted in 1994, leaving many questions unanswered,” Seligson added. “Many feel that the shooter was covering for co-conspirators that he did not name.”

For years, the FBI had classified the shooting as road rage. “I only shot them because they were Jewish,” Baz later said of the attack.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the ADL, stated that it was “indisputably an antisemitic terrorist attack and a hate crime that sent shock waves through the Jewish community and the entire country.”

“The question remains: Were others involved as part of a larger conspiracy? We hope that this new reward will incentivize anyone who has any information in this case to step forward,” he added.

Devorah Halberstam, Ari’s mother, stated that she is hopeful “that all of the perpetrators of the horrific antisemitic terrorist attack on the Brooklyn Bridge—not just Rashid Baz, but everyone involved—can finally be brought to justice.”

Seligson said that Devorah Halberstam’s achievements have been “extraordinary.”

“Not just with regards to the Brooklyn Bridge shooting, but what she has done for national security by educating public officials and law enforcement about the nature of terrorism and how it needs to be fought,” he said.

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