Tue | Jan 28, 2020

Jersey City attack being investigated as domestic terrorism

Published:Friday | December 13, 2019 | 4:31 PM
Orthodox Jewish women mourn during the funeral service of Mindel Ferencz who was killed in a kosher market that was the site of a gun battle in Jersey City, N.J., Wednesday, December 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (AP) — The couple who burst into a kosher market in Jersey City with assault weapons appear to have acted alone even though they had expressed interest in a fringe religious group that often disparages whites and Jews, New Jersey officials said.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the attack was driven by hatred of Jews and law enforcement and is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism.

The two killers were armed with a variety of weapons, including an AR-15-style rifle and a shotgun that they were wielding when they stormed into the store in an attack that left the scene littered with several hundred shell casings, broken glass and a community in mourning.

A pipebomb was also found in a stolen U-Haul van.

“The outcome would have been far, far worse” if not for the Jersey City Police, Grewal said Thursday.

Authorities noted that a Jewish school is next to the market, and a Catholic school is across the street.

The attackers killed three people in the store, in addition to a police officer at a cemetery about a mile away, before dying in an hourslong gunbattle with police Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

“The evidence points toward acts of hate. I can confirm that we’re investigating this matter as potential acts of domestic terrorism fuelled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs,” the attorney general said.

He said social media posts, witness interviews and other evidence reflected the couple’s hatred of Jews and police.

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