The man accused of using a machete in a mass stabbing attack on Saturday night that targeted Jews may be connected to another anti-Semitic attack in the area.
“Authorities, including the FBI, are now investigating whether [the attacker] is tied to a recent stabbing near a Monsey synagogue,” the New York Post reported, citing a top law enforcement official.
The Journal News reported details of the attack earlier this month:
A rabbi stabbed multiple times while walking to synagogue has spoken to Ramapo police from his Westchester hospital bed as the FBI assists detectives searching for whoever committed the brutal attack.
The 30-year-old married father of four apparently has been removed from the critical list after several surgeries and is considered stable, police said.
Investigators continue to work on surveillance video that captured the stabbing just after 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 20 yards from the driveway of Mosdos Meharam Brisk Tashnad, a religious center with a synagogue, study center and ritual bath at 2 Howard Drive.
The suspect that was arrested on Saturday in the attack is a black male who has reportedly “struggled with mental illness for two decades and had repeatedly sought help over the years,” The New York Times reported, adding that the attacker’s pastor, Rev. Wendy Paige, claimed that he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
“There hasn’t been anyone who has given a real solution to deal with a grown man who is dealing with schizophrenia, other than ‘Go home and call us if something happens,’” Paige claimed. “He is a man who has mental illness in America, and the systems that be have not served him well.”
President Donald Trump responded to the attack by writing on Twitter: “The anti-Semitic attack in Monsey, New York, on the 7th night of Hanukkah last night is horrific. We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism. Melania and I wish the victims a quick and full recovery.”
The anti-Semitic attack in Monsey, New York, on the 7th night of Hanukkah last night is horrific. We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism. Melania and I wish the victims a quick and full recovery.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2019
New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo said in response to the attack, “Let’s call it what it is. These people are domestic terrorists and the law should reflect that and they should be punished as if it was an act of terrorism.”
“It is intolerant it is ignorant but it is also illegal. At the end of the day, it is not just about words but actions. It is violence spurred by hate. It is mass violence and I consider this an act of domestic terrorism,” Cuomo continued. “This is an intolerant time in this country. We see anger, we see hatred exploded. It is an American cancer… it literally turns one cell in the body against others.”
“We are going to take the lead here in the state of New York,” Cuomo added. “I’m going to propose that in the beginning of January when I lay out my State of the State address.”
Democrat New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to the attack by saying during a Fox News interview on Sunday that “the NYPD has established a new unit to focus on racially and ethnically motivated extremism, to find where these groups are and stop them before they can act.”