Chicago Police Increase Security at Jewish Institutions After Attempted Arson at Two Synagogues

Chicago Police Increase Security at Jewish Institutions After Attempted Arson at Two Synagogues

Chicago Police are increasing security at Jewish schools and synagogues after an attempted arson attack and vandalism at city synagogues, officials said.

Chicago Police are increasing security at Jewish schools and synagogues after an attempted arson attack and vandalism at city synagogues, a police department spokesman said.

Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi said in a tweet that Chicago Police Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio has called for special police attention at all Jewish schools, synagogues and businesses.

According to police, an attempted arson was reported at two locations between Saturday night and Sunday morning. CNN affiliate WLS reported that a man threw three bottles filled with accelerant at the Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation and at an adjacent community center.

"The offender used a Molotov at both locations but resulted in no fire damage and no injuries were reported," the police department said in a release.

The FBI and Chicago Police are investigating the case as a potential hate crime, WLS reported, and the attempted arson was captured by video surveillance.

Rabbi David Wolkenfield said footage of the incident at the Anshe B’Nai Israel Congregation was difficult to watch.

"We saw that someone had tried to throw some sort of Molotov cocktail at the synagogue," Wolkenfeld said. "You could see someone walking behind the building carrying some things and you could see some fire and you can see trying to throw the fire -- some sort of bottle being thrown at the building."

Guglielmi said detectives were also investigation vandalism elsewhere in the city involving cars parked outside of synagogues. According to a police media release, there are 14 different incidences of vehicles that have had windows smashed with rocks or bricks in that area since the beginning of the month.

"We have different suspects in both incidents," Guglielmi said in a tweet.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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