- - Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NEW JERSEY

Teenager charged with firebombing 2 synagogues

PARAMUS | An unemployed teenager charged Tuesday with firebombing two synagogues is an anti-Semite whose hatred of Jews guided his actions, authorities said.

Anthony Graziano, 19, of Lodi, was charged with the Jan. 11 attack on a Rutherford synagogue and the Jan. 3 firebombing of a synagogue in Paramus. He was being held on $5 million bail.


The charges include nine counts of attempted murder, bias intimidation, arson and aggravated arson. Mr. Graziano was scheduled to make an initial court appearance Wednesday morning.

Bergen County prosecutor John Molinelli and other authorities didn’t speculate on what may have motivated Mr. Graziano. They described him as a 2010 high school graduate and loner who lacked access to a car but searched for nearby synagogues on the Internet and rode his bike to the two locations and, at the Rutherford synagogue, threw several Molotov cocktails and other incendiary devices before fleeing. If guilty, he is thought to have acted alone.

CALIFORNIA

Marine denies firing at Iraqi women, children

CAMP PENDLETON | A Marine facing sentencing for one of the worst attacks on civilians by U.S. troops during the Iraq War told a judge Tuesday in a surprise development that he never fired his weapon at any women or children.

The statement by Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich came a day after he pleaded guilty to a minor charge of dereliction of duty as part of a deal that will call for little or no jail time.

“The truth is: I never fired any weapon at any women or children that day,” Wuterich said during his sentencing hearing.

Wuterich also said that his guilty plea should not suggest that he thinks his men behaved wrongly or that they acted in any way that was dishonorable to their country.

Wuterich, 31, led the squad that killed 24 unarmed Iraqis in assaults in the town of Haditha in 2005. As part of a deal that stopped his manslaughter trial Monday, Wuterich faces no more than three months in confinement for the lesser charge.

NEW YORK

Muslims’ charges in park clash dropped

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