Jewish Militants Arrested in Bomb Plot

Two members of the Jewish Defense League, a militant Zionist group with a long record of terrorist activities, were arrested on Dec. 11, 2001, on suspicion that they were preparing to blow up a Los Angeles mosque and the office of an Arab-American congressman. Irv Rubin, 56, JDL chairman, and Earl Krugel, 59, another JDL activist, were arrested after "explosive powder," the last component of a bomb, was delivered to Krugel's residence, a federal prosecutor said. Other bomb components were seized at Krugel's home. The two are accused of preparing to attack the King Fahd Mosque in Los Angeles and the office of U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), a grandson of Lebanese immigrants. They have been held in custody pending their trial, which is likely to begin in October 2002.

In 1985 the FBI identified the JDL as "the second most active terrorist group in the United States," linking it to 37 terrorist attacks carried out from 1977 to 1984. (Orange County Register, Nov. 19, 1985). Another federal agency, the Department of Energy, similarly characterized the JDL in a 1986 report: "For more than a decade, the Jewish Defense League (JDL) has been one of the most active terrorist groups in the United States." In 1987 the FBI announced that Jewish extremist groups had carried out 24 terrorist acts from 1981 through 1986, 17 of which were the work of the JDL.

The Institute for Historical Review, a dissident history research and publishing center based in southern California, was a target of systematic JDL violence and harassment during the early 1980s. The attacks included a drive-by shooting, three firebombings, vandalization of IHR employee-owned vehicles, 22 slashings of tires of employee automobiles, demonstrations outside the IHR office, and numerous telephone threats.

This campaign culminated in a devastating arson attack on the Institute's offices and warehouse in Torrance in the early morning hours of July 4, 1984. Damage was estimated at $400,000. Two days later, JDL leader Rubin showed up at the site of the gutted IHR offices publicly to praise the fire-bombing. The JDL, he declared, "wholeheartedly applauds the recent devastation of the offices of the Institute for Historical review." Denying any personal responsibility himself, Rubin said that the arson had been carried out by a former JDL activist named Larry Winston (Joel Cohen). No one was ever arrested in connection with this crime.

In February 1989, JDL intimidation forced the cancellation at two hotel sites in southern California of a three-day IHR conference. The meeting was successfully held at a makeshift alternate site, in spite of further harassment by a handful of JDL thugs led by Rubin.

In a statement issued following the Dec. 2001 arrest of Rubin and Krugel, the IHR expressed the hope that the two will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, especially during this time of heightened awareness of the dangers of terrorism.

Further information about Rubin and the JDL can be found in "The Zionist Terror Network," a detailed IHR report that is posted on the "Books On-Line" section of the IHR web site.


From The Journal of Historical Review, March-April 2002 (Vol. 21, No. 2), page 4.