Indianapolis police said they arrested a woman on Friday who drove her car into a building she thought was a Jewish school.
Ruba Almaghtheh, 34, was arrested and charged with criminal recklessness.
Almaghtheh told officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department that she had been watching news coverage of the war between Israel and the Palestinian terror group Hamas on television and planned an attack on the building after seeing the “Hebrew Israelite” symbol on the front of the structure, which she said offended her.
She passed by the building several times, eventually backing her car into it while several adults and children were inside, police said.
One adult, a 3-year-old, 2-year-old, 1-year-old, and 7-month-old were inside when the crash occurred, court records show. No one was injured.
The police report said officers were called to the building around 11:30 a.m. on Friday to investigate a hate crime, Fox59 reported.
The woman kept calling the building the “Israel school,” police said, and referenced “her people back in Palestine.”
However, the building is used by the Israelite School of Universal and Practical Knowledge, a group that is connected to the Black Hebrew Israelites and has been labeled antisemitic by the Anti-Defamation League.
Essentially, Black Hebrew Israelites believe people of color are the true Israelites. The Southern Poverty Law Center has also designated the Black Hebrew Israelites a hate group.
Police said the woman told officers, “Yes. I did it on purpose,” and admitted to committing a “hate crime” during her phone call with a family member.
Police dubbed the woman a “terrorist.”
She is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis responded to the incident, saying that a Jewish community security program called Safe Indiana was notified immediately and is working with law enforcement to investigate.
“Safety and security for our community is of the utmost importance, and we are more secure and prepared than ever before,” Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis officials said in a statement. “Although a Jewish facility was not targeted, solely due to ironic misidentification, this is yet another reminder to maintain security protocols, remain vigilant of suspicious activity and to [report promptly] to the appropriate authorities.”
The alleged hate crime comes nearly a month after Hamas launched deadly terrorist attacks on Israel that killed more than 1,400 people, including children and Americans.