FBI offers $20,000 for info on arson at Chabad Centers near Boston

The bureau released new surveillance footage of the suspect.

August 8, 2019 10:38
1 minute read.
An FBI vehicle

An FBI vehicle. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMR ALFIKY)

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for at least three arson attacks against Chabad Centers in Massachusetts, the bureau announced on Tuesday.

The first fire occurred on May 11 at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life Arlington-Belmont in Arlington, a Boston suburb, but did little damage and was put out easily.

On May 16, a second fire started at the same location, and then approximately an hour later, another fire started about 12 miles away at the Chabad Jewish Center in Needham. No one was hurt in either blaze and damage was minimal.

In the aftermath of the fires, the Anti-Defamation League also offered $15,000 for relevant information about the arsonist.

The FBI and the local police forces have been investigating the incidents as possible hate crimes.

They also released surveillance footage of the episodes. According to the FBI statement, the footage shows a man approximately 5’11” wearing a dark jacket with a hood pulled over his head and Khaki pants, slowly walking to and from the locations where the fires were set.

Arlington, which is less than 10 miles northwest of Boston, has seen a number of antisemitic and racist incidents in recent years, including a widely reported incident a year ago in which 14 juveniles admitted to painting antisemitic and homophobic graffiti and vandalizing a public high school.

JTA contributed to this report.

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