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VALLEY FOCUS | West Hills

FBI Investigating Anti-Semitic Activity

August 11, 1998|SUE FOX

The FBI is investigating the recent distribution of anti-Semitic leaflets in the San Fernando Valley and other Southern California communities, and the July 31 vandalism of a West Hills synagogue, officials said Monday.

A Los Angeles Police Department detective, meanwhile, said a second synagogue in the San Fernando Valley--Temple Ahavat Shalom in Northridge--was similarly vandalized.

The vandalism apparently occurred on the same night as the incident at Temple Solael in West Hills, Devonshire Division Det. Ed Heissel said.

The FBI opened separate inquiries into the leafleting, which occurred in areas ranging from Santa Clarita to Glendale, and the West Hills vandalism, FBI spokeswoman Laura Bosley said.

Although both the leaflets and the graffiti spray-painted on Temple Solael bore the same Internet address of a white supremacy group, the Virginia-based National Alliance, Bosley said the FBI has not yet linked the incidents.

No suspects have been identified, officials said.

The federal inquiries are being conducted at the request of the U.S. attorney's office, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for that office. Federal prosecutors often use the FBI to investigate potential hate crimes. Officials declined to comment on the specifics of the investigations.

In the newly disclosed vandalism at the Northridge synagogue, Heissel said a wall was defaced with graffiti, using "exactly the same wording" as that spray-painted on another synagogue wall about nine miles away at Temple Solael.

The graffiti read "stop murdering the white race."

The Northridge incident is not under federal investigation at this time, Mrozek said.

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