A 26-year-old man is facing federal charges for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue.
Nicholas Malindretos, of Clifton, New Jersey, is accused of trying to firebomb the doors of Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield this weekend.
According to the charging documents, a surveillance camera caught Malindretos approaching the synagogue in the middle of the night while wearing a mask and gloves. The video showed the attacker walk to the entrance and ignite a wick on the top of a bottle before throwing it at the front glass doors. The synagogue was not damaged.
Malindretos was tracked, in part, through his car, which was recorded near the synagogue shortly before and after the incident, the FBI said.
Federal agents found gasoline, wicks and lighters in his home, as well as a map with a 10-mile radius of potential targets, prosecutors said.
Temple Ner Tamid Rabbi Marc Katz said in a statement, "We have prayed, reflected, and have helped each other heal from this traumatic event."
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy met with members of the synagogue on Tuesday.
Tonight, @NewJerseyOAG, @AmbAsafZamir, and I met with members of Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield in the wake of an attempted arson.— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 1, 2023
Jewish communities are facing a wave of antisemitic attacks. Everyone deserves to live and worship without fear for their safety. pic.twitter.com/Z9xEpR7i7x
On Thursday evening, the congregation will come together with the local community and New Jersey leaders for an "evening of prayer, healing and unity."
"We must not forget that many communities across the country have suffered from violent and hateful attacks over the past months," Katz said.
"We hope that Thursday evening's community event will be an opportunity to join together in solidarity across faiths and regions of the state, to unite, strengthen the voices of the great majority, and show that there is no place for violence or hate," he said.
A federal judge in Newark on Thursday ordered Malindretos held without bail following a brief hearing.
If convicted of attempted use of fire to damage and destroy a building used in interstate commerce, Malindretos faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison.