Attacker of Five London Jews Officially Charged With Hate Crimes
The perpetrator of a series of antisemitic assaults on religious Jews in north London has been officially charged with racially or religiously aggravated crimes.
Abdullah Qureshi, 28, was arrested last week after being caught on several CCTV cameras attacking Jews, including a young teenager, during a one-day rampage through the Stamford Hill neighborhood of London, which has a large Hasidic population.
The assaults were all carried out on Aug. 18. In the first incident, a 30-year-old man was struck on the head with a bottle, while the target of the second incident was a 14-year-old boy who was physically assaulted. The third victim was a 64-year-old man who was brutally punched in the face, causing him to fall and break a bone in his foot.
London Metropolitan Police have said that there were fourth and fifth victims, but details of the attacks have yet to emerge.
UK paper The Independent reported on Sunday that Metropolitan Police have charged Qureshi with one count of racially or religiously aggravated wounding or grievous bodily harm, four counts of racially or religiously aggravated common assault and one count of racially or religious aggravated criminal damage.
At the time of Qureshi’s arrest, the Stamford Hill Shomrim — a volunteer security service for the Orthodox Jewish community — tweeted, “Thanks to the tireless efforts by our dedicated @Shomrim volunteers who worked hard assisting @MetPoliceuk with the investigation, #CCTV & supporting the victims,” the organization said on Twitter.
Antisemitic attacks on Jews in London have escalated this year. A report from the Community Security Trust (CST), the Jewish community’s official security agency, published in June noted 201 incidents targeting Jews in London during the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas in May, including 12 assaults and 160 episodes of abuse.
The Independent reports that following the Aug. 18 attacks, Zara Mohammed, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said, “This is shocking and completely unacceptable. I hope the perpetrators will be brought to justice and the victims swift healing. We cannot tolerate any such hatred in our society.”