By Bobby Allyn
Federal prosecutors in New York have filed hate crime charges against the man accused of carrying out a stabbing rampage north of New York City over the weekend that wounded five people as they celebrated Hanukkah.
According to the FBI, the suspect, Grafton E. Thomas, 37, appears to have been driven by anti-Semitism. The FBI cited journals written by Thomas and his Internet search history, which allegedly reveal a pattern of hateful, anti-Semitic leanings.
Defense lawyer Michael Sussman has objected to the government’s interpretation of Thomas’ journals, arguing that the entries amount to the ramblings of a “disturbed individual,” not proof that he harbored hatred against Jewish people.
Thomas, who is also facing separate attempted murder charges brought by state prosecutors, was charged on Monday with five federal counts, including obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving an attempt to kill and weapons charges.
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