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New York police release footage of man wanted for four synagogue attacks

CCTV images show the unidentified man hurling rocks and kicking out at the window of the Young Israel of Riverdale Synagogue in the Bronx

Police in New York are searching for a man suspected of hurling rocks through the windows of four synagogues in Riverdale, New York City last weekend.

The vandalism in the Bronx neighbourhood, which has a large Jewish population, occurred late on Saturday night.

The vandalised synagogues were the Riverdale Jewish Center, Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, Young Israel of Riverdale and Chabad of Riverdale.

On Sunday police released CCTV pictures of the Young Israel of Riverdale Synagogue being attacked by a lone man.

No suspect has been arrested, although New York Governor Andrew Cuomo instructed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the investigation. Police presence will increase around the synagogues.

“An attack on any synagogue is an attack on all synagogues, all Jewish institutions, and all houses of worship,” read a mass email sent Sunday by the Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership, an umbrella neighbourhood group.

“We will stand strong against hate and will continue to celebrate being Jewish, engage in our personal, institutional and communal activities and support one another.”

According to security footage reviewed by the Community Security Service, a volunteer synagogue security group, the suspect also vandalised two of the synagogues earlier in the week.

“We are concerned that Jewish institutions are being harassed or vandalised for the third consecutive time in one week,” CSS National Director Evan Bernstein said in a statement.

“The eyewitness accounts of our volunteers, coupled with footage of the alleged perpetrator days before committing the acts, represents a clear desire to inflict harm on the Jewish community.”

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