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Man arrested after allegedly trying to firebomb New Jersey synagogue

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Posted at 10:18 AM, Feb 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-03 12:21:46-05

A man was arrested in New Jersey for allegedly attempting to firebomb a synagogue.

According to the Department of Justice, Nicholas Malindretos, 26, is charged with attempted use of fire to damage and destroy a building used in interstate commerce.

“The defendant is alleged to have gone to a synagogue in the middle of the night and maliciously attempted to damage and destroy it using a firebomb," said U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger.

Prosecutors allege Malindretos was captured on surveillance camera at the Temple Ner Tamid Jewish Congregation in Bloomfield, New Jersey, on Jan. 29. He allegedly ignited a wick on a bottle and then threw it at the front glass door of the temple before leaving the area.

Despite wearing a ski mask, authorities said Malindretos was identified by a license plate reading device that picked up his vehicle leaving the area. Officers said they found several items consistent with the firebombing.

Malindretos faces a minimum of five years in prison if convicted.

This is the second high-profile incident targeting the Jewish community in the past few months. Federal authorities say 18-year-old Omar Alkattoul used social media to send a manifesto with threats to the Jewish community. He was arrested in November.