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June 18, 2009 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-06-18

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Special Report



Islamic and right-wing threats are real.

Eric Fingerhut
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

fter years of worrying about
the threat posed by Muslim ter-
rorists, is the June 10 shooting
attack on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Museum — coming soon after the mur-
der of a prominent abortion doctor — a
signal that the Jewish community should
be ratcheting up its concern about right-
wing extremism?
Those who track extremism and secu-
rity threats in the Jewish community say
that a variety of current factors — such
as the poor economy, the first black presi-
dent and increased immigration — make
the prospect of terror attacks from the
extreme right something to watch careful-
ly. But, they stress, the Jewish community
should be concerned about threats from
extremists of all kinds.
"The real threat is lone wolves with
extremist views from the right or left:' said
Paul Goldenberg, national director of the
Secure Community Network, an initia-
tive of the Jewish Federations of North
America and the Conference of Presidents
of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Goldenberg said the common denomi-
nator is that they all target the Jewish
In recent months, a Jewish student at
Wesleyan University was killed alleg-
edly by a man who was carrying a copy
of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion;
four Muslim men were arrested for plot-
ting attacks on Bronx synagogues; and
a Muslim man who was charged with
killing a soldier and injuring another at a
military recruiting center in Arkansas was
found to have been researching Jewish
Also, in April, a Pittsburgh man who
allegedly shot and killed three police offi-
cers was found to have been a frequent
poster on extremist right-wing Web sites.
Goldenberg, who also noted the situ-
ation in the Middle East as a motivating
factor, said such lone wolves independent-
ly "react to the news media or the current
situation in the geopolitical environment"

Guard Killed in
Museum Attack


Eric Fingerhut
Jewish Telegraphic Agency




- 5:30



Bullet holes at the entrance to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington
give an indication of the extent of the violence there.

and carry out attacks on their own.

Double Edged
Jack Levin, a Boston-based Northeastern
University criminologist, made a similar
point on June 10 in an interview with
"Jews and blacks in the White House
— that's threatening to someone who
believes that blacks are subhuman and
Jews are the children of the devil; Levin
"The Obama effect;' he added, has "gen-
erated a backlash of white supremacy"
Kenneth Stern, director on anti-
Semitism and extremism for the
American Jewish Committee, said that
while lone wolves are a major concern, he
had yet to see a major uptick in organized
right-wing extremism similar to the mid-
1990s, when the citizen militia movement
grew in the Midwest. Stern noted that

many of the prominent leaders in the
movement over the last 10 to 15 years
have died or are in jail.

Growing Pattern
Some media outlets and advocacy groups
have been linking the museum attack
with the murder of abortion provider
Dr. George Tiller, describing them as two
specific recent examples of right-wing
The National Council of Jewish Women,
for instance, issued a statement deploring
the "latest episode of hate violence'
"Following so soon after the murder of
abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in his
church during Sunday services, this latest
attack cries out not only for condemnation
by public officials, but a commitment to
do everything in their power to prevent
such incidents from multiplying, including

EXTREMISM on page A14


n 88-year-old white
supremacist shot and killed
a security guard June 10
at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Museum before being shot by two
other museum security guards.
Stephen Tyrone Johns, who
was on the security staff of the
museum for six years, died after
being taken to George Washington
Hospital in Washington. The
shooter, identified as James
Wenneker Von Brunn, was taken
to the same hospital. Authorities
said his injuries were serious.
A third man was injured by
shattered glass and was treated
at the scene.
Von Brunn entered the museum
some time after 12:30 p.m. June
10 with a rifle and opened fire
near the metal detectors at the
entrance, according to police and
museum officials. Police say Von
Brunn appeared
to have acted
The Anti-
League identi-
fied Von Brunn,
who report-
edly lives in
Stephen Tyrone
Annapolis, Md.,
as a longtime
white supremacist and anti-
Semite who is a retired Naval
reserve officer and World War II
Von Brunn, the ADL said, has a
self-published anti-Semitic book
titled Tob Shebbe Goyim Harog


Guard Killed on page A14

June 18 • 2009


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