On the morning of March 1, 1994, a Lebanese livery cab driver named Rashid Baz opened fire on a van full of Hasidic Jewish boys on the Brooklyn Bridge, killing one and wounding several others. By the next evening, the perpetrator was in police custody, having confessed to the killing. Within months, Baz was tried and convicted of the second-degree murder of Ari Halberstam, a 16-year-old Jewish yeshiva student from the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, along with fourteen other counts of attempted murder with intent to cause death. He was sentenced to 141 years in prison. Two other men who were arrested for helping Baz evade police after the shooting pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution in the case; one was fined $1,000, and each was given a five-year suspended prison sentence. Rashid Baz is currently serving his prison term at the Auburn Correctional Facility, in upstate New York.
That much is known.
The exact motive for the attack, however, is less clear. In a handwritten note to the grieving family after the young Halberstam was killed, President Clinton pledged his "commitment to deal with the hatred and criminality that caused your son's death."1 But the New York State court did not require the conclusive establishment of a motive for the crime, and no motive was ever conclusively determined at trial. Baz claimed he opened fire after a traffic dispute; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) at one point ascribed his motive to "road rage." But then, in December 2000, federal authorities changed their minds and announced that Baz's actions were "the crimes of a terrorist."2
This case raises questions about the methods police use in investigating and deterring bias attacks; the F.B.I.'s treatment of incidents of terror on American soil; and the degree to which sentiment within and among members of the American Islamic community poses a threat to domestic security.
A Massacre and Calls for Revenge
The story surrounding the Baz case actually began several days before the shooting, on the morning of Friday, February 25, 1994, when an Israeli doctor named Baruch Goldstein marched into a mosque in Hebron, released the safety on his automatic weapon, and began firing upon scores of Muslim worshippers. Goldstein killed twenty-nine Arabs and injured dozens more before the crowd overcame and killed him. The massacre at the mosque, located at the Cave of the Patriarchs, a site holy to both Jews and Muslims, immediately sparked violent riots throughout the Middle East and roused the ire of Muslims all over the world. The sizeable Muslim community in America was likewise incensed.
In the wake of the massacre, Hamas, the militant Islamist group that would later launch a campaign of suicide-bomb attacks on Israeli civilians, began distributing leaflets throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip calling for revenge on Jews. These appeals were reprinted in newspapers across the world.3 At a demonstration in Beirut, Lebanon, covered in American press reports, thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians filled the streets, chanting "Death to America! Death to Israel!"4 In Amman, Jordan, a British tourist was stabbed while thousands of Palestinians protested the mosque killings.5
To what degree was Baz influenced by these exhortations for revenge? Baz has repeatedly refused to answer questions on the matter, so we can only deduce their impact by piecing together the little we know about what Baz did and heard between the time he found out about the Hebron massacre and the time he opened fire on the Brooklyn Bridge four days later.
Rashid Baz heard about the Hebron massacre the same way many people living in America did-from listening to the news and talking to friends.6 But, unlike most Americans, Baz was also privy to Arabic reports and analyses of the Hebron attack, and the Arab community in America interpreted the events unfolding in the Middle East very differently from most of America.
Voices of rage were very much in the air. Among Arabs, the massacre was almost without exception portrayed as a manifestation of the will of the Israeli people and government, if not directly perpetrated with their compliance. Speaking in New York, for example, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations said of the massacre: "The government of Israel is accountable for what has taken place . . . and one can say it even participated in the act."7 Other reports cited Islamic militants advising their followers, "Anybody or anything remotely linked with Israel is seen as a legitimate target for revenge."8
As one who identified himself with the Palestinian cause (although Baz was from Lebanon, his mother was a Palestinian) Baz's anger was fueled by reports from Arabic sources that painted the killer Goldstein as an agent of Israeli will, rather than as a deranged gunman acting alone.9
In addition, we know that Muafaq Askar, a Palestinian friend of Baz's who owned a pizza shop in Brooklyn, took Baz to the Islamic Center of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, before Baz attacked the van of Jews on the Brooklyn Bridge. This was the same mosque that, on Israel's fiftieth anniversary a few years later, hosted an event during which an Islamic figure proclaimed that Jews killed the Muslim prophet and that Jews harbor an eternal hatred for Muslims. The imam also exhorted the audience to support jihad against the Zionist entity and distributed pro-Hamas literature at the mosque.10
From what we know about what the imam said in the days following the Hebron massacre, his speeches were little short of incitement. "This takes the mask off the Jews," he reportedly said, according to testimony during Baz's trial. "It shows them to be racist and fascist and as bad as the Nazis. Palestinians are suffering from the occupation, and it's time to end it."11
Anger and Arms
The most salient feature of what we know about Baz in the days between the Hebron massacre and the bridge attack is his state of mind. Specifically, we know that he was very angry-his closest friend reportedly said that Baz was angrier than he had ever seen him.12
One of the psychiatrists for the defense, Douglas Anderson, later testified that the Hebron incident had an "enormous impact" on the perpetrator's "state of mind during that time." Anderson told the court: "He was enraged. He was absolutely furious. He was-I think Hebron put him from condition yellow to condition red."13 Later, the witness went even further: "I believe that were it not for Hebron this whole tragedy wouldn't have occurred," he told the court.14
Nevertheless, Baz resisted the suggestion that his anger spurred him to seek revenge on Jews in New York. "I was upset, but not upset to go do something," Baz told Assistant District Attorney (D.A.) Armand Durastanti. "I left the war when I came here. I've been here ten years. I don't have no accident. No problem. No problem."15
We also know that he felt revenge was in order for the killing of his fellow Muslims. Baz talked with friends about how the mosque killings were "not fair" and about how "they should take revenge." He explained that "they" meant "the people over there" in the Middle East.16 Amir Abudaif, an associate of the perpetrator's who later turned him in to the police, testified that Baz was furious. Baz was "yelling" about the killings at the mosque in Hebron, Abudaif told the court. "He was saying that . . . Jews were not good people, they deserved to die and get out of Israel."17
"Of course I was upset," the assailant told Durastanti on the day of his arrest.18 But when pressed about the issue during his only interview with the D.A., Baz quickly clammed up, and the interview shifted to a discussion of the suspect's right to legal counsel before coming to an abrupt end.19 Those were the last on-the-record comments Baz ever made about what he did. He never took the stand in his trial and has never again spoke publicly. He has resisted all requests for interviews, including several from this author. By his own admission, then, Baz was very upset about the mosque massacre and felt revenge was in order.
It is worth noting that when it came to Middle East politics, Baz was not a passive observer. Born in 1965, he had been involved in militia groups in his native Beirut from the age of nine, according to the testimony of a police investigator who questioned him shortly after his arrest.20 He also told police he spent nine years in the "military" in Lebanon.21 Like most Lebanese who lived through the civil war that ravaged that country for a decade and a half beginning in the mid-1970s, Baz was no stranger to violence. A psychiatrist for the defense, Nuha Abudabbeh, testified that Baz told him he had killed people in the Middle East.22
Did Baz decide by March 1 that he would not sit idly by, that it was time for him again to become a holy warrior?
After news of the massacre in Hebron reached him, Baz moved a 9-millimeter Cobray machine gun into the interior of his car from his trunk.23 (Baz had been robbed before and said he kept the weapon in his trunk for defense.) He also armed himself with a Glock 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun in his cab (which he said he kept near the driver's seat in case a passenger tried to rob him).24 His trunk was loaded with a third weapon, a 12-guage Street-Sweeper shotgun, which was not used in the bridge attack.25 Baz acquired his weapons illegally; he refused to tell investigators how he had obtained them, and to this day authorities have never discovered the source of his weapons, one of many unanswered questions in this case.
By the time Tuesday came around, Baz was looking for a target. How he came to be on the ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge at the precise moment that a van full of Jewish boys was passing there is a matter of considerable debate, whose significance matters more to some than it does to others.
The victim's mother, Devorah Halberstam, contends that the murder actually was the result of a botched attempt on the life of the Lubavitcher grand rabbi, Menahem Mendel Schneerson, spiritual leader of the Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Jews. In allegations detailed in a series of articles in The Forward newspaper in 1998 and 1999, she explained that the late rabbi, also called the rebbe, was targeted because of his outspoken advocacy for a hard-line Israeli approach toward the Palestinians. Devorah Halberstam describes how a plot to ambush a vehicle transporting the rebbe was foiled when the vehicle disappeared into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel under heavy police protection. Unable to follow the rebbe, the assailant headed toward the next gateway to Brooklyn, the bridge, where he happened upon an alternate target that was too good to pass up: a van full of boys who very clearly could be identified as Jewish by their appearance.26 Nathan Lewin, the Halberstam family attorney, and others have echoed this argument.27
There is some evidence to support Devorah Halberstam's claims. Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, a Lubavitch community leader, said that in the wake of the Hebron massacre there "was talk amongst authorities-federal and local-that there could be some kind of terrorist attempt on the rebbe."28 The night before the shooting, a high-profile attorney associated with issues of concern to the Jewish community in New York, Barry Slotnick, said he was contacted by officials from the New York Police Department (N.Y.P.D.) with concerns about security. "I would presume that they were concerned about retaliation," he said.29 And knowledge of the rabbi's whereabouts was available via the Crown Heights Hotline, which provided callers with a recorded message detailing the rabbi's daily agenda.30
Perhaps the most compelling argument for this line of inquiry is the simple logic of selecting a target for an act of terrorist vengeance. If Baz had wanted to kill a large number of Jews, wouldn't he simply have gone to a place where he could be certain to find Jews in great concentration, like the predominantly Jewish neighborhoods in his home borough of Brooklyn?
To be sure, one could use this same line of argument to make that case that Baz did not plan on killing Jews at all: The two vehicles just happened to meet on the bridge and the shooting was the result of a traffic altercation. But there is no evidence to support Baz's claim that there was a traffic dispute prior to the shooting, and eyewitnesses testified during the trial that they saw Baz open fire on the white van unprovoked.31 Furthermore, the arsenal of weapons that Baz loaded inside his cab renders it unlikely that he impulsively decided he was going to kill some Jews when he spotted the van on the bridge.
Finally, even if the decision to attack indeed had been spontaneous, Baz's eagerness to exact a lethal strike on a Jewish target remains only too apparent. His attack would turn out to be an answer to the calls for revenge coming from many of his Islamic brethren.
This preponderance of evidence-Baz's unchecked rage about the incident in Hebron, the view he held of himself as a Palestinian holy warrior, the call to violence against Jews that he read about and heard about in his community, the move to load his cab with an arsenal of weapons, the unprovoked shooting-seems to bear out the charge that Baz's act was a politically motivated attack against Jews.
A close examination of the social and political atmosphere in Baz's Arab community in Brooklyn, as well as of the circumstances surrounding the shooting, suggests that Baz felt encouraged to perpetrate violence against Jews. Baz apparently felt sufficient support within his community for his murderous act that he actually told several people about what he did after he fled the scene of the crime. Two of them, Hlal Muhammad, the owner of the auto repair shop where Baz fled after the shooting, and Bassam Reyati, the owner of Baz's livery cab, tried to help Baz evade police after the attack. Each pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution in the case. Only one of those Baz told about the attack, Amir Abudaif, an auto mechanic, saw fit to report Baz to the police. The others, with their silence, protected a killer. And these were not simply relatives protecting a loved one; the group included Baz's boss and a neighborhood auto mechanic. Apparently, Baz's associates condoned this sort of action.
It is also possible that Baz had local assistance in planning the attack. His weapons were found hidden in a closet in the home of his aunt and uncle, Jamal and Gloria Akel; both refused to speak to police about the circumstances surrounding the shooting.32 We know that at least two people helped him conceal evidence of his crime. All but one of those in whom Baz confided about the shooting kept silent rather than report it to the police. Did any of these people abet the killer in planning the attack?
Investigators also never determined the identity of the associates from whom Baz obtained the weapons, or those whom Baz said supplied him with the ammunition he used during the shooting. The following is an excerpt from Baz's interview with Durastanti on the day of the arrest:
D.A.: What about the ammo? Where did you buy that?
Baz: (Laughing.) From friends.
D.A.: What friends?
Baz: I can't tell you that.
D.A.: Why can't you tell me that?
Baz: I won't tell you that.
D.A.: Are they people-I mean are they-who are they?
Baz: (Shakes negatively.)
D.A.: What kind of friends are they?
Baz: You see, I tell you, you ask me anything about me, I don't mind.
D.A.: All right. But I'm asking you-the reason I'm asking you these questions is because I think they're-they're significant and important, in that-
Baz: -No. They don't have nothing to do with it.33
Baz repeatedly refused to answer any questions about these cronies, and authorities were never able to ascertain their identity. An arms dealer named Albert Jeanniton was arrested and convicted after the shooting for illegally selling one of the guns that Baz used on the Brooklyn Bridge on the day of the murder, but he was not charged with actually selling the gun directly to Baz.34 The Halberstam family brought suit in 1995 against the mail-order company that manufactured the Cobray machine gun Baz used in the attack, S.W. Daniel, Inc., alleging negligent marketing-the company's gun was eventually acquired by a man that turned out to be a homicidal terrorist-but the Halberstams lost the case and, anyway, S.W. Daniel did not sell the gun directly to Baz.35 The killer obtained his weapons from an intermediary whose identity has not been established. Presumably, that person (or persons) is still at large and may still be capable of illegally providing weapons to other potential murderers and terrorists.
It appears that Baz lived in a milieu that cultivated terrorism. Although it is difficult in America to explicitly advocate terrorism without inviting law enforcement scrutiny or punitive action-terrorist organizations are subject to all manners of legal and financial restraints in the United States-only a small intellectual leap is required to advance from violent rhetoric to violent action. Baz heard the imam at Bay Ridge sermonize about the importance of jihad and about how the Jews harbor eternal hatred for Muslims; it is not unlikely that as a result he felt implicitly encouraged to take upon himself the task of perpetrating an attack against Jews.
Due to the dearth of details about Baz's associations and actions between the time he heard about the Hebron massacre and the time of the shooting, however, we can only speculate about the personal circumstances that might have prompted him to commit this act. For example, Baz may have been as influenced by what he was hearing from fellow Muslims abroad as by what he was hearing from Muslim friends and community leaders at home.
While Baz was not publicly praised by members of his local community in Brooklyn once he was arrested for the shooting, he was openly lauded as a holy warrior, or mujahid, abroad. Hamas leaflets from Gaza wrote of him as "the holy warrior and Lebanese immigrant Rashid al-Baz, the son of Islam who took action against the souls of the evil dregs of the Jews in Brooklyn in America."36
The many unanswered questions in this case have led some, including Nathan Lewin, the Halberstam lawyer, to suggest that authorities bungled the investigation.37 Beyond the mistakes in amassing evidence, these people point to the investigators' strange refusal for more than five years to see the attack for what it was: terrorism.
While many-including the D.A. who prosecuted the case, New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, all four U.S. senators from New York serving since 1994, and at least twelve New York members of Congress-called the shooting an act of terrorism,38 F.B.I., N.Y.P.D., and D.A.'s office investigators treated the case as an incidence of homicide. Though exhorted for years to call the shooting an incidence of terrorism, until 2000 the F.B.I. resisted that call. More bizarre yet, the F.B.I. persisted in calling the murder an act of "road rage" as late as 1999,39 thereby adopting the killer's version of events. The agency quickly retracted that characterization when it was brought again to the public's attention in a 1999 newspaper article that revived the issue and spurred politicians, prosecutors, and Jewish leaders to pressure the FBI to take the circumstances of the bridge shooting fully into account.40 Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a spokesman for New York's governor George Pataki, even went so far as to call the F.B.I.'s road-rage determination "a travesty of justice."41
Prompted in large part by political pressure brought to bear on the federal agency-the result of Devorah Halberstam's relentless efforts to get federal officials to acknowledge that her son's killing was a terrorist incident-the F.B.I. in May 1999 finally assigned a special agent to review the original 1994 bridge-attack investigation by the Manhattan D.A.'s office and the N.Y.P.D. That review lasted a year and a half and at times involved as many as seven different agents.42 A spokesman for the F.B.I., Joseph Valiquette, explained that the supplemental investigation was undertaken "to see if there were some more leads that should be followed up."43
The review concluded that while "Baz acted on his own . . . and there appear to be no unpunished co-conspirators," based on the circumstances surrounding the shooting and what is known about Baz, the attack "can only be considered as an act of terrorism." The letter concluded, "Your son's tragic murder cannot be righted. But his death can and does serve as inspiration to all law enforcement who strive to combat terrorism wherever it occurs and in whatever form it occurs."44
Although the F.B.I. concluded that there were no unpunished co-conspirators, the facilitators who helped arm Baz for the attack were never identified, nor was the extent of their involvement in the bridge attack or its planning ever fully ascertained.
Consequences of a Bungled Investigation
Had federal authorities acknowledged sooner that the shooting was a terrorist attack, many, including Governor Pataki,45 say authorities would have been more forceful both in alerting Americans to the dangers of terrorism and in pursuing all possible leads to their conclusions. After all, they reasoned, federal authorities have far more investigative tools at their disposal than does the N.Y.P.D., particularly concerning terrorist activities, which the F.B.I. closely monitors. Because investigators treated the Halberstam shooting merely as a homicide, these critics maintain, there may still be terrorist supporters or facilitators out there who were able to elude federal scrutiny and who to this day represent a clear and present danger to domestic security.
That question, apparently, is a matter of life and death.
In the years since the Baz attack, a picture has emerged of the area of Brooklyn from which Baz hailed-Sunset Park and its environs-as a haven for terrorists. In fact, authorities have found links from that area of Brooklyn to terror attacks around the world, including the 1998 bombings that killed hundreds of people at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.46 Police also discovered links from Brooklyn to exiled Saudi millionaire Usama bin Ladin, who federal authorities say may have had a hand in the October bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in waters off the Yemeni port city of Aden. Months earlier, police found a group of Arabs in the same area of Brooklyn operating a bomb factory.47 These incidents raise the possibility that if federal authorities had viewed the Baz attack as terrorism rather than a traffic dispute, they would have been more vigilant in monitoring suspicious activity in that enclave.
Have American law enforcement authorities been forceful enough in alerting U.S. citizens-and particularly U.S. Jews-to terrorist threats? New York has been a focal point for incidents of terror in recent years. It was in New York that an American-born Israeli rabbi, Meir Kahane, was gunned down in 1990 by an Egyptian immigrant named El Sayyid Nosair after making a speech about Israel and the Middle East. A group of Arab militants chose New York City several years ago as its target for a spate of terror attacks, the first of which-the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993-was the only attack that the group was able to execute. Shortly after that incident, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind Egyptian cleric living in Brooklyn, was convicted of conspiring to blow up several New York landmarks. More recently, several small-scale bias attacks-the firebombing of a synagogue in the Bronx, for example-followed the outbreak of a new round of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East.48
Steven Emerson, an expert on Middle Eastern terrorism, finds fault with both federal authorities and the U.S. news media for their reticence in identifying domestic criminal incidents as terrorism, including numerous bias attacks carried out since the outbreak of a new round of violence in the Middle East in October 2000. "There is a reluctance to pinpoint the finger at militant Islam in the United States," Emerson says. "There are political constraints here. There's an attempt to sanitize those perpetrating it. It goes hand in hand with the legitimization of these groups that are not pulling the trigger, but are ideological promoters of terrorism.
"You have community support structures for extremists. It doesn't make everybody a terrorist. What it suggests is that there is a community that tolerates militant Islamic values," Emerson says.49
Understanding the motive for the attack on the Brooklyn Bridge and the communal climate that could generate such a killer is essential in raising the awareness of both governmental authorities and possible target communities to the potential for the recurrence of similar attacks in the future.
A recent editorial in The National Post of Canada linked a spike in antisemitic incidents in that country to the government's United Nations (U.N.) vote to condemn Israel for recent Middle Eastern violence; Canada was "winking at Palestinian violence" with its U.N. vote, the editors wrote.50 The silence of U.S. authorities when it comes to recent attacks on Jewish targets in the United States could very well have a "winking" effect in America, where there have been far greater instances of terrorist violence and, some say, a false sense of security to boot.
The Importance of Motive
The importance of motive in this case cannot be overstated. Acts of terrorism, defined by the F.B.I. as "the unlawful use of force regarding violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, a civilian population or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives"51-differ from other criminal offenses in the ways the incidents are perpetrated, investigated, and prevented.
The F.B.I.'s move last December to recognize the Halberstam shooting as politically motivated points to the increased attention federal authorities may be paying to possible terrorist activity. It is no surprise that at the end of a decade that saw a precipitous rise in incidents of terror on American soil, New York, the state with the largest and perhaps most multiethnic big city in the country, passed its first hate crimes law.52 Not long afterward, in June 2001, Governor Pataki announced that he would create a state commission on terrorism and proposed establishing new state-related penalties for crimes of terrorism.53
The Baz case goes to the heart of how American law enforcement authorities deal with politically motivated hatred and criminality.
The issue of Baz's motive goes to the core of how authorities respond to and monitor threats to domestic security. There is a world of difference between an attack that results from momentary anger due to a car problem and a profound, politically motivated lethal strike against Jews. Recognizing terrorism when it occurs is the first of many steps necessary in acting to prevent future terror.
Uriel Heilman writes frequently on Middle East-related issues. His coverage of the Halberstam case for The Forward newspaper in 1998-1999 provided much of the background for this piece.
Update from March 29, 2012: In 2007, Baz finally confessed that the shooting on the Brooklyn Bridge in fact had been premeditated and purposely targeted Jews. In a confession made to investigators that was first reported by The New York Post in March 2012, Baz said that he had followed the van carrying the Chasidic Jews for more than two miles before the shooting. "I only shot them because they were Jewish," Baz reportedly said in his confession.
1 Mar. 10, 1994.
2 Mary Jo White letter to Devorah Halberstam, Dec. 5, 2000, p. 3.
3 The Mideast Mirror, Feb. 25, 1994; The Times (London), Feb. 28, 1994.
4 United Press International, Feb. 28, 1994.
5 The Mideast Mirror, Feb. 25, 1994, cited in Yehudit Barsky, The Brooklyn Bridge Shooting: An Independent Report and Assessment (New York: The American Jewish Committee, Nov. 2000), p. 6.
6 Baz statement, p. 125, and throughout Baz statement.
7 Palestinian ambassador Nasser al-Kidwa, quoted in InterPress Service, Feb. 28, 1994.
8 The Times (London), Feb. 28, 1994.
9 Voice of Palestine radio, Feb. 26, 1994; The , 2200 GMT, broadcasting from Algiers, said: "No one should see the massacre, which was plotted by the Israeli government against our people at the shrine of Abraham yesterday, in isolation from other past developments." – from the BBC summary of world broadcasts. Similar sentiments were reported in American press outlets, including a New York Times, Feb. 27, 1994., titled, "Two Palestinian Rivals Warn of Storm to Come," by Youssef M. Ibrahim, in which an advisor to the Palestinian peace negotiating team, Nabil Qassis, said: "The root cause for this massacre is the settlers and the whole policy of settling Palestinian territories with Jews from Brooklyn…"
10 The Forward, Aug. 7, 1998.
11 People vs. Rashid Baz, p. 2109. D.A. cited Anderson's citation of what Askar had told Anderson.
12 Anderson's testimony People vs. Baz, pp. 2107-2108.
13 People vs. Baz, p. 1968.
14 People vs. Baz, p. 2088.
15 People vs. Baz, p. 2088. Along these same lines, the psychiatrist for the defense noted during the trial that Askar had made a point of telling him that the imam drew a distinction between what was going on in the Middle East and life in the United States. People vs. Baz, p. 2132.
16 Baz statement, pp. 131-132.
17 People vs. Baz, p. 293.
18 Baz statement, pp. 131.
19 Baz statement, pp. 105, 129-138.
20 Testimony of Detective William Glynn, People vs. Baz(trial transcript), p. 608.
21 People vs. Baz(trial transcript), p. 608.
22 People vs. Baz(trial transcript), p. 1027.
23 Anderson's testimony, People vs. Baz, pp. 1975, 2110.
24 Baz statements, pp. 96-99; People vs. Baz, pp. 22-23.
25 People vs. Baz, pp. 22-23.
26 Author's interviews with Devorah Halberstam, Oct. 1998, Brooklyn, New York.
27 Letter from Nathan Lewin, Halberstam family attorney, to FBI special agent Tracy Stumpf, May 13, 1999; Lubavitch community leaders, cited in "Investigation: Why Did They Make an Attempt on the Rebbe's Life?'"Hashifa: Madua Nisu L'Hitnakesh B'hayei HaRebbe?" Kfar Chabad Weekly Magazine, Sivan 10, 5758 (June 1998), p. 24-31.
28 Interview with the author, Oct. 1998, New York.
29 Interview with the author, Nov. 1998, New York.
30 Devorah Halberstam in interview with the author, Oct. 1998, New York.
31 Eyewitness testimony, in People vs. Baz, pp. 438-440.
32 Conversations between Yehudit Barsky, author of the AJCommittee's report on the Brooklyn Bridge shooting, and police investigators, as recalled by Barsky in an interview with the author, Nov. 20, 2000, New York.
33 Baz statement, p. 105.
34 Interview with Marvin Smilon, the public information office for the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan (Southern District of New York), New York, Oct. 1998.
35 Halberstam v. S.W. Daniel, Inc. at http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/Lytton.htm.
36 Associated Press, Mar. 11, 1994, as cited in the AJCommittee's Nov. 2000 report.
37 Telephone interview with Nathan Lewin, Dec. 1998.
38 Letter from Senator Charles Schumer to FBI director Louis Freeh, Feb. 10, 1999; Armand Durastanti, People vs. Baz, sentencing phase of the trial (Jan. 18, 1995), pp. 6-7; letter from Senator Daniel P. Moynihan to FBI Director Louis Freeh, Dec. 14, 1998; twelve U.S. representatives in a signed letter to US Attorney General Janet Reno, July 14, 1999; letter from Senator Alfonse D'Amato to Mr. and Mrs. Halberstam, Mar. 8, 1994; Mayor Rudolph Giuliani via spokeswoman Sunny Mindel, interview with author in New York, Apr. 1999.
39 Letter from FBI legislative counsel A. Robert Walsh to Senator Charles Schumer, Mar. 17, 1999.
40 Letter from FBI assistant director John Collingwood to Senator Charles Schumer, Apr. 21, 1999.
41 Interview with author, New York, Apr. 1999.
42 Letter to Senator Jon Kyl from the F.B.I., Feb. 15, 2000.
43 Interview with author, New York, May 1999.
44 Letter from the U.S. Department of Justice to Devorah Halberstam, signed by Mary Jo White, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Dec. 5, 2000.
45 Interview with Pataki spokesman, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, New York, Dec. 1998.
46 The New York Times, Oct. 22, 1998.
47 The New York Times, Oct. 22, 1998, Nov. 5, 2000.
48 The New York Times, Oct. 12, 2000.A synagogue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx was vandalized on 8 October 2000, on the eve of the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. Bronx prosecutors filed hate-crimes charges against the suspects on October 11.
49 Telephone interview with author, Nov. 16, 2000.
50 The New York Times, Nov. 15, 2000.
51 Joseph Reap, U.S. State Department Office of Counter-Terrorism, interview with author, Nov. 1998.
52 The Hate Crimes Act of 2000, New York Assembly bill No. 30002, an amended version of New York State Senate bill No. 4691A); it was signed into law by Governor Pataki, July 10, 2000.
53 Telephone interview with Caroline Quartararo of Governor Pataki's office, New York, June 2001.