N.Y. Police: Chabad attack not terror related, Jewish sites to have enhanced security

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The stabbing of a rabbinical student from Israel at the Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters in Brooklyn was not terror related, New York’s police commissioner said.

“There’s no indication that the subject … had any affiliation with any terrorist organization,” William Bratton said Tuesday at a news conference in Crown Heights, the neighborhood where the attack on Levi Rosenblatt, 22, took place in the early morning.

John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, told reporters, however, that police will increase security at synagogues and other Jewish sites.

“You will see some enhanced coverage in terms of police presence at these locations,” Miller said.

Rosenblatt, of the West Bank’s Gush Etzion bloc of settlements, was stabbed in the neck and elsewhere while praying in the building’s synagogue at about 1:45 a.m. He was placed in an induced coma after doctors discovered internal bleeding that is putting pressure on his brain, Crownheights.info reported. He was moved to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan and was scheduled to undergo surgery there.

His mother reportedly was on her way from Israel to be with him. Rosenblatt had been in New York for two weeks before the attack. (His name had been reported previously by JTA and other news sources as Rosenviat.)

The assailant, Calvin Peters, 49, of Valley Stream, Long Island, was shot in the stomach by police and later died in the hospital.

Peters suffered from bipolar disorder, according to his family lawyer. He also had a history of arrests dating back to 1982, the New York Daily News reported, citing unnamed sources. Most were for drug possession, but also for arson and criminal possession of stolen property.

Peters, a married father of two, reportedly entered the Chabad building shouting “I will kill the Jew! I want to kill the Jew!” An hour earlier he had entered the building saying he was looking for a book, another Israeli student told the New York Daily News.

video of the encounter was posted by the Israeli news website 0404.

A Chabad spokesman told Israeli media that homeless men sometimes enter the world headquarters, which is open 24 hours a day, in order to get warm.