Police officers guard the Essen synagogue after several bullet holes where found this morning in a nearby building in Essen, Germany, November 18, 2022.

German-Iranian Sentenced For Iran-Backed Synagogue Attack

Tuesday, 12/19/2023

A German-Iranian has been sentenced to two years and nine months in prison for his role in an Iran-backed attack on a synagogue in Bochum.

The Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Düsseldorf handed down its verdict to the 36-year-old on Tuesday, the defendant only referred to as Babak J.

The charges included conspiracy to commit aggravated arson and attempted arson. The court determined that the arson plot was orchestrated by "Iranian state agencies" while German security officials linked the plot directly to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Also on Tuesday, the German foreign ministry said that it had summoned an Iranian envoy over the case.

"We have therefore summoned the Iranian charge d'affaires," the ministry said on X. "We will not tolerate any foreign-controlled violence in Germany."

Court documents reveal that Babak J. made unsuccessful attempts to recruit an acquaintance as an accomplice, who subsequently reported the matter to law enforcement authorities.

The incident in which a molotov cocktail was fired at a school beside the synagogue, resulted in only minor damage to the synagogue. Since the incident, the accused has been held in custody.

Babak J. has also been linked to an earlier synagogue attack in the city of Essen. Reports indicated that he had also been planning a third attack on a synagogue in Dortmund, where he was eventually apprehended.

It is one of several Iran-backed attacks over the last year on Jewish or Israeli targets either carried out or foiled, in countries including Greece, Azerbaijan and Cyprus.

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