Chicago police are boosting presence at Jewish schools, synagogues and businesses after Molotov cocktails were found near a Shul in the Lakeview East neighborhood, Chicago Tribune reported.
Congregants noticed broken glass on Sunday morning “but didn’t think anything of it,” the Tribune reports.
Later that morning, they saw charred rags and realized there had been an arson attempt on Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, which shares a campus with a Jewish Community Center, day care center and a preschool, according to Rabbi David Wolkenfeld.
Chicago police confirmed that between 9 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday, someone tried to set a building in the 500 block of West Melrose aflame at two separate locations.
Three broken glass bottles with an unknown substance and charred black cloth towels were found outside, police said. No one was injured, and no buildings were damaged.
Late Sunday, police released surveillance footage of a suspect in the attempted arson. He was described as a light-skinned male wearing a hooded black jacket, black pants and black shoes and was carrying a black bag, according to a community alert issued by police.
In another instance of criminal damage reported near synagogues, police are also investigating multiple broken windows in cars parked outside synagogues in the Rogers Park district, police said, adding that there are “different suspects” in both incidents.
News of this arson attempt in Chicago comes just days after fires were set outside two Chabad centers in Massachusetts last week.
A Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating suspicious fires set on Saturday night and on Thursday evening at the Chabad Center of Needham, MA, and the Chabad House in Arlington, MA the evening before.