Accused Synagogue Bomber Pleads Not Guilty… Claims He Was Campaigning For Ron Paul
In this photo provided by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office in Hackensack, N.J., Aakash Dalal is shown, Friday, March 2, 2012. Dalal, 19, of New Brunswick, N.J. was charged in the January firebombings of two synagogues in northern New Jersey. (AP/Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office)
A second man was charged in a series of attacks on New Jersey synagogues in January. Aakash Dalai pleaded not guilty. He claims he was campaigning for Ron Paul.
Vos Iz Neias reportd:
A second man charged in a series of attacks on synagogues that included the January firebombing of a house of worship where a rabbi and several family members were sleeping pleaded not guilty on Monday.
Aakash Dalal, 19, of New Brunswick, appeared in court shackled at the waist and wearing a prison-issued orange jumpsuit. He is accused of encouraging another defendant, Anthony Graziano, by showing him how to make the bombs, though Dalal is not believed to have participated in the acts themselves.
Attorney Chris DiLorenzo entered the not guilty plea on Dalal’s behalf. Dalal faces charges including conspiracy, aggravated arson, bias intimidation and criminal mischief in the series of attacks…
…“It’s my opinion that he’s being prosecuted more for the use of malicious words than criminal behavior,” DiLorenzo said of the charges against Dalal. “Malicious words aren’t criminal acts.”
Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli has characterized Dalal as an instigator in the January firebombings, allegedly carried out by then-19-year-old Graziano. Molinelli has said Graziano was motivated by “anti-Jewish animus, a bias against them; an intent to harm them.” He hasn’t given a motive for Dalal’s alleged actions.
A few days after Graziano’s Jan. 24 arrest, authorities found several Molotov cocktails made from glass beer bottles that they said they were able to traced to Graziano, in a wooded area about 100 yards from the Paramus Jewish Community Center.
DiLorenzo said Monday that Dalal had been in New Hampshire volunteering with the Ron Paul campaign at the time of the attacks, and could not have participated.
Hat Tip David