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N.Y. Jewish Group to Proceed With Armed Residents Watch

June 24, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — A right-wing rabbi said Sunday he expects members of his group to be arrested when they make armed patrols of Jewish neighborhoods this week because of terrorism warnings.

When Rabbi Yakove Lloyd announced the armed patrols two weeks ago, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said anyone carrying a gun would be arrested.

"If we see a violation of the law we will take appropriate action," a police spokeswoman said.

Lloyd said about 50 members of his group would patrol the neighborhoods from midnight to 6 a.m. on three random days of the week. He said only those licensed and trained would carry firearms, the rest would carry baseball bats.

Lloyd said he expected those with guns to be arrested but was prepared to go ahead anyway.

"There is a saying in Talmudic law: 'He who comes to slay you, you slay first,' " Lloyd said .

Lloyd conceived of the patrols after fugitive Abdul Rahman Yasin told CBS' "60 Minutes" that those responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing had originally targeted Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

He suspended the patrols after an overwhelmingly negative response in two neighborhoods. He said he renewed the plan after the FBI warned Friday that terrorists could be plotting attacks on Jewish schools and synagogues.

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