update deskAntisemitism

LA police probing home invasion as antisemitic hate crime

The suspect was heard yelling, "Free Palestine" and "Kill Jews, kill Jews."

An LAPD helicopter over Los Angeles. Photo by Biker x days/Shutterstock.
An LAPD helicopter over Los Angeles. Photo by Biker x days/Shutterstock.

A California man was arrested on Wednesday after trying to force his way into a Los Angeles home and threatening the Jewish residents, in what is being investigated as a hate crime.

The attempted home invasion was reported around 5 a.m. in the L.A. neighborhood of Studio City, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a press release.

According to the LAPD, the victims “were awakened by the suspect, later identified as Daniel Garcia, described as a male Hispanic, wearing only underwear attempting to kick in their rear door. The suspect was heard yelling, ‘Free Palestine’ and ‘Kill Jews, kill Jews.'”

Footage aired by KTTV-TV Channel 11 showed Garcia yelling, ‘Free Palestine’ several times after being arrested and taken away in a police vehicle.

Garcia is being held on charges of stalking and making criminal threats with a hate crime enhancement after he failed to post a $225,000 bail.

“In the wake of the terror and violence inflicted over the previous weeks, this is one of the worst fears of Jewish families across our country– hatred spilling across the threshold, destroying the sense of safety and sanctuary in a home,” Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said.

“We remain steadfast in support of the Jewish people. The people of Los Angeles will not cower to hate,” she added, according to a statement. 

Bass said the LAPD would conduct increased patrols and called on law enforcement “to take action to ensure the person responsible for this heinous act is held fully accountable.”

Also on Wednesday, Belgian police arrested a Palestinian immigrant after he informed social workers of his intention to carry out a suicide bombing, Agence France-Presse reported, citing a source close to the case.

The suspected terrorist, identified as Mohammed A., a 23-year-old from the Gaza Strip, told immigration services in Brussels earlier this week that he wished to “die as a martyr by blowing himself up,” AFP said.

Authorities immediately issued a nationwide arrest warrant, triggering a manhunt by all the country’s police units, the Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper reported. The suspect was subsequently arrested in a hotel in the Belgian capital, according to the Belga news agency.

The terrorist threat level in Belgium was raised last week from two to three, the second-highest level.

In Germany, security forces this week detained an Islamist with a previous terrorism conviction on suspicion of plotting an attack on a pro-Israel rally in the western part of the country.

The Bild newspaper said that 29-year-old Tarik S. was arrested by a “heavily armed special operations team” at his apartment in Duisburg on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, a court agreed to extend his remand pending a possible indictment on suspicion of agreeing to commit murder and manslaughter.

Prosecutors said S. is suspected of telling a “chat partner” in Syria “in a sufficiently concrete manner” that he was willing to commit a large-scale car-ramming attack, with a pro-Israel demonstration being the possible target.

The prosecutor’s office added that the suspect had previously been sentenced to five years detention as a juvenile for membership in ISIS in 2017, as well as other criminal offenses.

On the morning of Oct. 7, the Hamas terrorist organization launched a massive assault on Israel from the Gaza Strip, infiltrating several communities, killing at least 1,400 people, wounding more than 5,000 others and taking hostages back into Gaza.

Anti-Jewish hate crimes have surged around the world as the Israel Defense Forces launched a large-scale aerial assault aimed at Hamas targets in the Strip.

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