FBI Offers $5,000 Reward for Information on Suspect in San Antonio Antisemitic Vandalism Attack
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Rangers announced on Thursday that they had identified a suspect in the recent antisemitic graffiti attack in a predominately Jewish neighborhood in San Antonio, local news station KSAT 12 reported on Friday.
Authorities said the suspect lives near the area where the attack took place, and announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
In the attack, antisemitic graffiti was found spray-painted on more than 30 homes and vehicles. The graffiti included images of swastikas, “KKK” lettering and other hateful slurs.
Members of the area’s Rodfei Sholom Congregation discovered the vandalism on Wednesday morning in the area around the synagogue shortly after morning prayers. The graffiti has since been removed.
Police said they are taking the incident seriously because of the fear that hate crimes can lead to violent acts of terror.
“We have seen in the past and in other communities that an act of vandalism, motivated by prejudice or hate, on one day could lead to a violent act if it’s allowed to continue,” said FBI Special Agent Michelle Lee.
In a statement of solidarity after the incident, Pastor John Hagee, spiritual leader of the nearby Cornerstone megachurch and founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), said the antisemitic attack is “an assault on both Christians and Jews.” He called on San Antonio residents to help police find the “hoodlums” behind the attack so that they could be “punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
The San Antonio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also expressed solidarity with the city’s Jewish community in a statement released on Thursday.
“San Antonio’s Muslims stand with our Jewish neighbors in rejecting the intolerance that results in such offensive and un-American behavior,” said CAIR-San Antonio President Sarwat Husain. “We hope the perpetrators are brought to justice and educated about the negative impact their hate-filled beliefs have on the entire society.”
Anyone with information on the vandalism can call the FBI at 201-225-6741. Tips can also be submitted via Tips.fbi.gov.