The suspect
Photo: Reuters

Suspect nabbed in California shul bombing

FBI says man pegged as suspect in Calif. synagogue blast was arrested after being spotted by Cleveland-area rabbi

Authorities in Ohio have arrested a man believed to be a suspect in an explosion outside a synagogue in Santa Monica, California. Last Thursday's blast shattered windows and punched a hole in the synagogue, while sending chunks of concrete and a heavy pipe crashing into the roof of a nearby house.


Ron Hirsch (60), a transient wanted on state charges of possession of a destructive device and unrelated local charges, is the FBI's prime suspect in the blast, which forced the evacuation of about 100 people.


"An individual believed to be Ron Hirsch, the man wanted in connection with the 4/7/11 explosion in Santa Monica, California, was taken into custody in Cleveland Heights, Ohio," the FBI said in a statement on Monday.


"The individual in custody was arrested following a call to law enforcement by a concerned citizen who had come into contact with a man believed to be Hirsch. This is a continuing investigation and additional details will be provided as they are developed."


Hirsch, described by California authorities as "extremely dangerous," bought ticket for a bus that was expected to arrive in New York on Sunday, the statement added.


Surveillance cameras show Hirsch got off the bus in Denver and may have "further deviated from his original route," according to the agency's statement. Hirsch is believed to have family in New York, the agency said.


According to the FBI, the explosion at the Chabad House synagogue was caused by a "deliberately constructed" device. The investigation has linked Hirsch to several items found around the crime scene. Authorities initially thought the explosion was the result of an industrial accident.


The agency said investigators don't know a motive for the explosion, which sent a 30-pound pipe flying into the roof of a house next door, CNN affiliate KABC reported.


AP and Reuters contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 04.12.11, 12:41
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