The deadliest anti-Semitic attack ever committed in the United States took place on October 27 when 46-year old white supremacist, Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and shot to death eleven worshippers and wounded six others before police arrested him.

How could this have possibly happened in the United States? Why now?

With hate crimes on the rise in the U.S., including a 57% rise in anti-Semitic incidents, the shooting in Pittsburgh illustrates the dangers of a society in which openly espousing hatred and intolerance on social media – and in the real world – are no longer taboo.

Bowers was an avowed neo-Nazi but, in fact, only FBI intervention thwarted another deadly attack on a Toledo-area synagogue in early December. This attack was planned by Damon Joseph, a fanatical convert to Islam and ISIS adherent. Joseph told FBI undercover agents he was inspired by the attack in Pittsburgh: “I admire what the guy did with the shooting… I can see myself carrying out this type of operation, ‘inshallah. “(God willing in Arabic) .

 

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