In case you may have missed this story because it was barely covered, Mufid Fawaz Alkhader was arrested Thursday afternoon after he allegedly fired off a shotgun in the parking area of an Albany, New York, synagogue. The FBI identified the suspect, who is being charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
The incident took place a few hours before the start of Chanukah and while more than two dozen students at the congregation’s early childhood center were inside the building.
Alkhader was seen walking around the synagogue and acting “suspicious” before he fired a round from his weapon and made verbal threats.
Federal law enforcement is investigating with local and state police. Mufid has a rap sheet, but Gov. Hochul refused to give additional information. No surprise there.
The Albany Times Union reported the man allegedly yelled “Free Palestine,” although it wasn’t clear if the suspect said that at the time of the alleged shooting or subsequently. The paper cited sources as “city police and a person briefed on the matter.”
That there were no reported injuries, fatalities, or damage to the Conservative synagogue is likely more a nod to Mufid Fawaz Alkhader’s lack of training with a shotgun than to any security surrounding that holy place.
Given New York State’s soft-on-crime approach towards criminals, it will be interesting to see exactly how this man is treated or if he will even be held on bail.
Reminder: Lee Zeldin, when running for governor, was attacked on the campaign trail by a knife-wielding man who Lee astutely predicted would be released without bail.
Let’s hope this will not be another case of “no harm, no foul.”