NEW JERSEY Aakash Dalal and Anthony Graziano, the two Lodi men who terrorized the Jewish community in North Jersey with a string of arson attacks in 2011 and 2012, were sentenced Friday to 35 years in prison.
The two were convicted last year of spray-painting anti-Semitic graffiti at synagogues in Maywood and Hackensack, attempting to burn down synagogues in Paramus and Rutherford and throwing Molotov cocktails into the Rutherford home of a rabbi from December 2011 to January 2012.
Graziano was tried and found guilty of terrorism and 19 other counts in May. Dalal was tried and found guilty of terrorism and 16 other counts in November.
The two were sentenced together on Friday because they worked as partners, said Brian Sinclair, an assistant Bergen County prosecutor.
“They saw the world with the same set of eyes. They saw Jewish people not as people but as subhuman and like reptiles,” Sinclair said. “They were partners in hate, intimidation and crime.”
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Some excerpts that were retrieved from the terrorists cell phone:
Graziano told Dalal: “if a Jew gets in the way, I’ll stab him,” according to the instant messages read out in court. “That’s the way to go, no hesitation,” replied Dalal.
After the first firebombing at a Maywood, New Jersey, synagogue, Dalal urged Graziano to do more. “The Jews got what they deserved tonight. We should do another one in Paramus,” he wrote.
After a January attempt to firebomb Temple K’Hal Adath Jeshurun proved unsuccessful, Dalal told Graziano he had inflicted no damage. “You have not proved yourself,” he said.
Graziano asked Dalal how much damage would be acceptable.
“A total guttage,” replied Dalal, according to the text messages read out in court.
The two boasted about the damage they had inflicted, noting that the attacks were reported on television news. After a particularly heinous attack in Rutherford, New Jersey, which occurred while a rabbi and his family were sleeping in the building, the pair boasted about a Molotov cocktail hitting the rabbi’s bed.
“Next time, burn the place down,” said Dalal, via messaging. “Definitely,” said his co-conspirator.
Flashback: Coverage on Jan 11, 2012 (gifterphotos)