Interfaith Issues/Ocean County: Anti-Jewish Slur Hung on Holocaust Memorial in Lakewood
On July 2, vandals hung a banner with an anti-Semitic slur on the front of a Holocaust memorial at a synagogue in Lakewood (Ocean County). The slogan on the banner began with a derogatory term for Jews and continued by stating that they “will not divide us.” The banner also said at the bottom, “Presented: Blood and Soil.org,” a link that leads to the website of the white supremacist group Vanguard America. The group has previously distributed racist fliers in New Jersey, and in February left an anti-Muslim poster on the campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino retweeted a Twitter message from the Anti-Defamation League’s New Jersey chapter on the incident, adding, “This is sickening,” offering a $10,000 reward for bias crime information and conviction, and asking the public to provide tips at nj.gov/oag/bias/ or by calling 1-877-277-2427.
North Korea: Chemical Weapons Pose an International Threat, in Addition to Missiles
With international attention focused on North Korean efforts to develop an ICBM capable of attacking the continental United States, a feature article last week in the Washington Post notes that North Korea's chemical weapons stockpile also poses a serious threat. The regime demonstrated its willingness to use its lethal weapons on foreign soil in February, when Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was killed at the Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia. Kim's murder is believed to be the first state-sponsored assassination using the nerve agent VX conducted outside the aggressor country's borders. He was killed when two local women were hired to approach him from behind and rub liquid VX in his face. Malaysian officials say four North Korean agents were seen on video watching the attack, while Kim Jong Nam became agitated, sought help from police and first aid personnel, and was wheeled away to an ambulance, where he died. The North Korean men then boarded flights out of the country.
The Post article notes that in the light of recent provocative missile tests, the murder may have been not only an assassination, but also “a proving exercise” for North Korea’s chemical weapons stockpile. The use of covert North Korean agents in Malaysia and the hiring of local personnel indicate that this threat could extend to the continental United States.
NYPD Investigates Actions of the Shooter Before the Murder of Officer Familia
NYPD investigators continue to examine the movements and actions of the deceased shooter who murdered Officer Miosotis Familia on July 5. Commissioner James O'Neill gave a concise summary of the status of the investigation: “Officer Familia is dead for one reason and one reason only, and that's Alexander Bonds and his hatred of police.”
Bonds had been acting erratically in recent weeks and was “paranoid the police were following him,” said Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. Bonds’ girlfriend persistently called 911 in the hours before the murder, but Bonds kept ducking out of sight, and eventually emerged to use a stolen gun, said Chief Boyce.
At the urging of his girlfriend, Bonds also went to a hospital for a psychological examination on July 1. A spokesman for the hospital said Bonds was evaluated and was composed, and he was discharged. The spokesman said Bonds was in the hospital between seven and eight hours. Police say it was only an hour. New York Governor Cuomo ordered an investigation of the hospital, to “determine if all relevant state laws, regulations, and guidelines were followed.”