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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘New York’

NY Arrests 2 in Plot to Help Taliban ‘Cut US Soldiers to Pieces’

Friday, October 11th, 2013

New York City police have arrested two local Muslim citizens for allegedly trying to buy equipment to help Taliban terrorists “cut U.S. soldiers to pieces.”

The arrests follow a two-year investigation, leaving unanswered questions why it took so long to arrest the men and why federal authorities did not intervene.

The men, Humayoun Nabi, 27, and Ismail Alsarabbi, 32, each are being held on $550,000 on charges of conspiracy and seeking to aid terrorists. There were hauled into Queens Criminal Court on Tuesday but the announcement of the arrest was delayed until Thursday because law enforcement officials wanted  to protect their undercover sources and look for additional suspects.

Authorities said the men were not involved with any plots to terrorize New York City but that their scheme, if carried out, would have been a “game changer,” court records revealed.

Nabi is a college-trained renovator with no criminal record and was a victim of police undercover agents’ tricks to arrest him for innocent actions, such as agreeing to “to send shows and coats to Afghanistan,” according to Nabi’s attorney Kenneth Finkelman.

He added, “For 18 months, for two years, the NYPD was trying to convince a guy with a wife and a child to send shoes and coats to Afghanistan. It’s totally entrapment.”

The charge sheet  states that Nabi and Alsarabbi plotted to send military equipment, including boots, to Taliban terrorists.

Alsarabbi’s attorney Sean McNicholas called the prosecution “outrageous” and accused the government of using a “a very common tactic…where they play on our fears and…use a confidential informant.”

The investigation began two years ago after Nabi met a police informant through a mutual acquaintance and talked about his hatred for the United States, Jews and American soldiers.

“The source of the Americans’ strength is their equipment, specifically good jackets, good goggles, good GPS,” Nabi told an undercover agent in December 2011. In another conversation, two weeks after U.S. commandos killed Osama bin Laden, Nabi allegedly said, “We are sitting here breathing in peace, eating chicken and roasts and our brothers, they are dying.”

Nabi  allegedly admitted to police he planned to provide clothes and boots to terrorists in Afghanistan to “level the playing field” in battles with U.S. soldiers. He was reported as saying he wanted to build “ a small army.”

He  also told agents he ultimately wanted to provide persons to Taliban terrorists but for the time being concentrated on funding clothing and electronics.

The police informant gave Nabi a $3,900 check, and Alsarabbi allegedly told his cohort to send the money to Nabi’s father in Pakistan.

FBI Arrests NY Rabbis for Beating Husbands Who Refuse Divorce

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

The FBI raided a Monsey yeshiva Wednesday night and arrested four mean, including two rabbis, who allegedly kidnapped and beat recalcitrant husbands who had refused to grant their wives religious divorces and thereby prohibit them from re-marrying under Jewish law.

The “executors” used by the divorce gang included “electric cattle prods, karate, handcuffs and placed plastic bags over the heads of husbands,” the complaint charge stated.

The status of stranded Jewish women is known as “aguna” and is a problem that has received deserved focus in Israel and the Diaspora in recent years.

The FBI investigation and arrests bring to national attention the anguished situation of “aguna” women and perhaps will help put legal pressure on husbands who have separated from their wives but refuse to allow them to re-marry.

The suspects were arrested after a month-long sting operation in which a female FBI agent posed as an Orthodox woman trying to get a religious divorce from her husband. Another undercover agent posed as her brother.

Rabbis Mendel Epstein and Martin Wolmark, along with Ariel Potash and a fourth individual known as Yaakov, appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in Trenton, N.J. Six others could be charged, according to reports.

The FBI also raided Yeshiva Sha’arei Torah in Monsey and a yeshiva in Lakewood, N.J., Brooklyn and elsewhere.

The rabbis allegedly charged $10,000 to persuade the rabbis on the rabbinical court to approve kidnapping husbands, and another up to $60,000 to pay for others to abduct and beat husbands.

The FBI agents called Rabbi Wolmark in August and said they were “desperate for a religious divorce and were willing to pay a large sum of money to obtain a divorce,” according to the charge sheet.

“There are a couple of ways to do that,” Wolmark allegedly said in a recorded phone conversation. “You have to, we have to, convene a special Bet Din and see if there are grounds to, to, to coerce him on the ‘get’ [divorce decree].”

Wolmark allegedly added, “You need to get him to New York where someone either can harass him or nail him. Plain and simple,” he said, according to the complaint. The rabbi then set up a meeting between the undercover agents and Rabbi Epstein. A recorded conversation revealed that Rabbi Epstein spoke about “kidnapping, beating and torturing husbands in order to force a divorce.’

He allegedly added, “Basically what we are going to be doing is kidnapping a guy for a couple of hours and beating him up and torturing him and then getting him to give the ‘get.’”

One of the “tough guys,” supposedly Rabbi Epstein’s son, “uses his karate skills” on the victims, court papers said.

The FBI said the “divorce gang” has been operating for 20 years and that Rabbi Epstein said he carries out approximately one kidnapping a year.

Forcing husbands to grant a divorce is permitted under Jewish law, a rabbi told The Jewish Press Thursday. “Jewish law does not always seem humane, but it really is humane because physical force often is the only way to force angry husbands to release their wives from virtual bondage and to allow them to-remarry,” he said.

The rabbi added that rabbis often are blamed for the situation of the agunot but also are criticized for using force, recognized under Jewish law, to solve their dilemma.

He pointed out that force can be used only if a Bet Din [religious court] authorizes it and only if there are substantial reasons to order a divorce.

Brooklyn Boy Killed By Van One Month before Bar Mitzvah

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

A Brooklyn boy was struck and killed by a van Tuesday night, one month before his bar mitzvah.

Samuel Cohen-Eckstein, 12, was hit on Prospect Park West in the Park Slope neighborhood after chasing a ball into the street, the New York Daily News reported. The boy was pronounced dead soon after arriving at nearby Methodist Hospital.

The van driver remained at the scene and no summons was issued.

The Park Slope Stoop website reported that Cohen-Eckstein had been scheduled to mark his bar mitzvah at Kolot Chayeinu, a liberal congregation in Park Slope, and planned to donate a portion of his gifts to Heifer International.

His parents, Amy Cohen and Gary Eckstein, have spoken at community meetings “in support of traffic calming and the protected bike lane on Prospect Park West,” according to StreetsBlog.org.

Report: YU Hired Faculty Member Convicted Of Sex Contact with Boys

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Yeshiva University hired a new faculty member convicted of inappropriate sexual behavior with boys, according to the Forward.

The university, which is facing a major lawsuit concerning its handling of allegations of sexual abuse over several decades, has hired Akiva Roth, who pleaded guilty in 1997 to four counts of lewdness against several boys he tutored. Roth, 42, began teaching Hebrew at the college this fall.

In response to questions from the Forward, a university spokesman issued a statement saying it “has policies and procedures in place that require background checks for new hires” and is “currently in the process of thoroughly exploring the matter you brought to our attention.”

After pleading guilty, Roth was sentenced to 10 years of probation.

Wonder Bread Gets OU Kosher Approval

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Wonder Bread, fresh off its post-bankruptcy revival, will get kosher certification in the New York area from the Orthodox Union (OU), according to an OU bulletin.

The kosher Wonder Bread won’t be sold everywhere, but approved products will bear the OU’s symbol on their packaging. Previously, Wonder Bread was certified by the Triangle-K, which is not as widely accepted by kosher consumers as the OU, the New York Jewish Week reported.

Flower Foods, which acquired the Wonder Bread brand during the Hostess brand’s recent bankruptcy fire sale, is a “very old and important OU account,” said Rabbi Moshe Elefant, the chief operating officer of the OU’s Kashruth Department.

Netanyahu Warns Americans ‘Iranian ICBMs Would Be Able to Hit US’

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu focused the Iranian nuclear threat on the United States Thursday, telling Americans through a CBS interview that Iran is developing Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) to threaten them.

“The American intelligence knows as well as we do that Iran is developing ICBMs not to reach Israel. They want to reach well beyond,” he said on the network’s “This Morning” program. “They’re not developing those ICBMs for us. They can reach us with what they have. It’s for you.”

The networked quoted a senior Israeli security official as saying that the threat of Iranian ICBMs is a “few years” away.

New York, Pennsylvania Sukkahs Top ‘Sukkathon’ Competition

Sunday, September 29th, 2013
Sukkah in Queensbury, New York assisted living facility shares top ranking in 'Sukkathon'

Sukkah in Queensbury, New York assisted living facility shares top ranking in ‘Sukkathon’

Three sukkahs, two in the United States and one in Israel, will share the title of “Number One Sukkah” as the winners of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s first Sukkathon competition.

The three winners are the sukkah at Terrace at the Glen, an assisted living facility in Queensbury, New York; the Schachter family sukkah in Pennsylvania; and the sukkah of the Jewish Agency’s Ye’elim Immigrant Absorption Center in Be’er Sheva, Israel.

“We are starting a New Year and these olim (immigrant) children represent the real hope in this country,” said competition judge Betina Schnaid, an artist who made aliyah from Brazil. “I wish for them to be happy in Israel for many years, and that each one give the best of themselves to improve this country and that the ceiling gets higher over the time and that they will have their own families in Israel. The sky is the limit for these beautiful olim!”

 

New York Family Rescued From Arab Lynch Mob in Jerusalem

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

On Wednesday, the Arfons family, visiting Israel from New York, were rescued from an Arab mob who tried to lynch them – in Jerusalem.

The family was on their way to visit the grave of their grandfather, located on the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world, going back an estimated 3000 years, and holds approximately 150,000 graves.

According to the father, Yoel, when they reached the area near Augusta Victoria, two Arab-owned cars suddenly blocked them, one in the front, and one from behind.

The Arabs in the the cars then got out and began stoning the car, smashing it, and attempting to physically pull the family out of the vehicle.

One of the passengers, a cousin (40), suffered a hand broken and internal injuries as he protected two children who were in the car, ages 14 and 17. The cousin was taken to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus for treatment. The rest of the family suffered injuries and bruises, but were treated on site.

The police spokesperson said they are searching for the attackers.

Mount of Olives Lynch 2

 

Mount of Olives Lynch 3

 

On Thursday, there were over a dozen stoning attacks against Jewish-owned cars and buses in Judea and Samaria.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ny-family-rescued-from-arab-lynch-mob-in-jerusalem/2013/09/26/

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