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German Iranian Charged with Arson Attack on Synagogue

German prosecutors on Thursday charged a German Iranian dual national in an attempted arson attack near a synagogue on the orders of the government in Tehran.

Babak J. was instructed by an intermediary “acting on behalf of unknown Iranian state agencies” in November 2022 to carry out an arson attack on a synagogue in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Subsequently, the accused is said to have sought to persuade an acquaintance to set fire to a synagogue in Dortmund using a Molotov cocktail but was refused.

Babak J.’s handler allegedly later named another synagogue — in the city of Bochum rather than in Dortmund — as a target, prosecutors said.

“The accused refrained from attacking the well-monitored synagogue in Bochum itself for fear of discovery,” they said.

Instead, the suspect tried to set fire to a school building adjoining the synagogue in the western German city, according to prosecutors.

Germany has seen a series of incidents of antisemitic violence in recent years, bringing back memories of the country’s Nazi past.

Germany this month reported a new record in the number of politically motivated crimes last year, although the number of antisemitic crimes declined by almost 13% to 2,641 incidents.

Most of the offenses, 84%, were attributed to the far-right.

The decline was however “no reason to give the all-clear,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

Source: https://www.voanews.com/a/german-iranian-charged-with-tehran-guided-arson-attempt-/7089623.html