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Antisemitic Hackers Hijack New Jersey Virtual City Council Meeting

Unknown individuals using fake names hacked into the virtual portion of the City Council meeting on Tuesday night and used racial slurs and antisemitic remarks.

There appeared to be three or four hackers who interrupted Mayor Hector Lora’s remarks a few minutes into the meeting. The audio and visual portion of the meeting was temporarily taken over and occasionally flashed back to Lora, who was trying to speak.

The hackers, who all appeared to be men, shouted racial expletives and untruths regarding the Sept. 11 attacks. Three of Passaic’s seven council members are Orthodox Jews.

The city Police Department is investigating the meeting and the vandalization of cars belonging to members of the council during the meeting.

After the meeting, Lora said he wasn’t fully cognizant of what was going on initially, but a quick look at the fake and offensive names used by the hackers led him to believe they were out to “elicit a reaction.”

As he was making these remarks, the hackers flashed a photo of the Federal Reserve Board on the Zoom meeting, followed by more antisemitic remarks.

Local officials believe the incident is one of many in response to the Israel-Hamas war that resulted from the attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Other recent incidents have been reported in North Jersey, including in Englewood, Teaneck and Lakewood. But for Passaic, the disruption Tuesday was especially surprising, officials said.

“We see an attack on any one of our communities as an attack on all,” Lora remarked shortly after the hackers were removed from the virtual meeting.

He was joined by City Council President Gary Schaer, who told the public that the use of racial slurs and antisemitic comments would not be tolerated. It is abhorrent, Schaer said.

After the meeting, cars belonging to council members were found to have been vandalized, Councilman Terrence Love said. Love said his Lexus was damaged along with several other vehicles.

“I don’t have issues with people,” Love said. “I am shocked. Where is this coming from?”

Lora said the incidents have been referred to Passaic police, who were reviewing the meeting recording and the video of the parking lot, where the vehicles were scratched.

Source: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/passaic/passaic-city/2023/10/25/hackers-passaic-nj-meeting-racial-anti-semitic-slurs/71312080007/