New York rabbi, imam denounce violence after bomb plot exposed
Jewish organization: Thwarted attacks serve as sobering reminder to Jewish institutions to remain vigilant.
New York-area religious leaders, Muslim cleric Shamsi Ali and Orthodox Rabbi Marc Schneier held a press conference Thursday, issuing a joint condemnation of the recently uncovered plot to bomb New York Jewish centers.
Two New York-area religious leaders, Muslim cleric Shamsi Ali and Orthodox Rabbi Marc Schneier, issued a joint condemnation of violence Thursday after authorities arrested four men over a plot to bomb local Jewish centers.
Imam Ali, the head of Islamic Culture Center of New York, one of the largest Islamic centers in the U.S. called on "Muslim leaders to stand firm against the forces of evil."
He added that any terror attack acted out in the name of Islam represented a distortion of the Holy Koran.
Rabbi Schneier, the director of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding as well as the Chairman of the American Section of the World Jewish Congress, echoed Ali's condemnation.
"It is reassuring to hear the voices of Muslim leaders speaking hard in solidarity with the Jewish community and unequivocally condemning acts of terrorism and violence," he said.
Also Thursday, Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, issued a statement praising law enforcers for their efforts in helping to prevent any harm to either Jewish institutions or to our nation's military
"We repeat the American Muslim community's repudiation of bias-motivated crimes and of anyone who would falsely claim religious justification for violent actions," the statement said.
Jewish organizations laud FBI
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America commended the FBI and the New York Police Department for the "job well-done."
"We applaud the Joint Terrorist Task Force whose dedication resulted in thwarting the terrorist plot to bomb Jewish institutions, but this instance should serve as a sobering reminder to synagogues and Jewish institutions across the country to remain vigilant in their security efforts,? said William C. Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of UJC/Jewish Federations of North America's Washington office.
Meanwhile, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, and Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, sent a letter of thanks and commendation to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, and New York State Police Superintendent Harry J. Corbitt.
"On behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 900 congregations encompass nearly 1.5 million Reform Jews, we write to express our gratitude to the FBI for its dedicated and impressive work in thwarting the plans of four would-be terrorists who intended to carry out potentially devastating attacks on Riverdale Temple and the Riverdale Jewish Center," the said in the letter.
"We are immensely thankful to you, to these courageous and talented agents, and to the entire Bureau for acting undercover to infiltrate the group and monitor its activities, thereby ensuring that the terrorists? plans could not come to fruition," they added.
The suspects were arrested Wednesday night, shortly after planting a 16.78-kilogram mock explosive device in the trunk of a car outside the Riverdale Temple and two mock bombs in the backseat of a car outside the Riverdale Jewish Center, another synagogue a few blocks away, authorities said.