Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “This is violence spurred by hate. It is mass violence. And I consider this an act of domestic terrorism. Let’s call it what it is. These people are domestic terrorists.”
Witnesses say the attacker burst into Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s home wielding a machete, stabbing five Jews among 100 who had gathered to celebrate Hanukkah. Police say a suspect, 38-year-old Grafton Thomas, was arrested driving back along the George Washington Bridge.
His lawyer and friends say Thomas has a long history of mental illness, including schizophrenia, and that he has no known history of anti-Semitism. All five victims of the stabbing have survived. One remains hospitalized with a skull fracture. The Hanukkah attack comes after a string of other attacks targeting the Jewish community in the New York region, including a fatal shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City and the stabbing of a Jewish worshiper on his way to a synagogue in Monsey.